Is Your Child Prepared?
Did your children have their Bible lessons prepared today? Every Sunday morning and every Wednesday evening, prepared Bible class teachers embark upon the journey of helping your children to learn more about the Bible. (Ideally, the Bible class teachers should simply be reinforcing what you have already taught your children at home. However, realistically speaking, the approximate two hours of Bible class time a week is all the Bible training that some children receive.) However, when children are not prepared for the class, they are not the only ones who suffer.
Any type of Bible class is simply a setting where one person instructs and other people learn. Based upon the preferences of the teachers, some classes are conducted in a lecture type format while other classes allow interaction, questions, and comments. In either case, if the teacher provides lesson material to the students, he or she does so with the intention that the students prepare their lessons and be ready for the class period. When the students are prepared for the class, the teacher is able to cover more ground and is better able to explain the subject in question. However, when students are not prepared, the teacher’s responsibility becomes more difficult and the class can potentially move at a slower and less productive pace.
Lesson material aids the Bible class teacher in that the material teaches the Bible class student ahead of time. When the students studies through their lessons, researching the prescribed passages, answering the questions, and memorizes their assigned verses, they will have met the teacher half way and the class time will be much more productive. The students will learn.
Parents have the God given responsibility to see to it their children learn God’s holy word. Paul taught fathers, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) No parent can properly bring their children up in the “training and admonition of the Lord” without teaching their children the word of God. While parents can recite principles, parents cannot properly teach without using God’s holy word. Children must be taught to respect and seek to know God’s word. Parents must work to foster a desire within their children to want to know the word of God.
Far too often, though, parents fail to make certain that the students have prepared their lessons. They may ask, “Joey, did you do you Bible lesson?” To which Joey replies, “Yes mom,” knowing that all he did was answer two questions and walk away. Parents should set aside the time to walk their children through their lessons, without doing their lessons for them. When parents work the Bible lessons for their children, their children will suffer in the long run. Children must learn how to reason and answer the questions. This is, of course, why age appreciate material is so important. There may be a temptation to consider the oldest child in the class and choose material of a greater level of difficulty. In such cases, it may be more beneficial to either move the child to a higher age bracket, or have the teacher bring the material up to the level of the older child. However, in either case, the parents must be vigil in seeing that their children always prepare for class by studying through and working their Bible lesson material.
In the end, the primary purpose of teaching children to do their Bible lesson is simple: Parents are teaching their children to study the word of God. Consider how much focus and attention some parents give to children’s school work. The reason for such great attention is because of the grading system. If your child does not do his homework, he will fail in school. However, far too often, parents do not see Bible lessons as equally important. “School work is different,” is a phrase heard from time to time. “Joey has a big test and he has to do well. It is important that he studies his school assignments.” I do not question the importance of school work. What I question and challenge is the attitude that deems Bible study of second rate importance within our home lives. “I’m sorry. Joey didn’t have time to do his Bible lesson. He had too much homework this week.” So, Joey grows up to be a great doctor or a great scientist, however, his interest and understanding of Bible matters may never develop. Will the elevating of school work over Bible study have been worth the price which Joey will pay in the end? Will your children be prepared for their next Bible class and, ultimately, to meet the Lord?