by Shelly Burke, Author and Editor
(The posts for the A to Z Blogging Challenge will focus on teaching kids lessons from selected Bible verses. Adapt your teaching to the age of the kids you’re talking with.)
Begin by asking your children what they need to “know” and why. They will probably talk about what they need to know for tests at school, or what they need to know to play a sport. They also need to know rules—at home, at school, at church and when they go to visit friends. Next ask what they think the most valuable knowledge they can have, is; what will help them most throughout life, in whatever circumstances they face (whether or not to cheat on a test or employment application; how to determine what to do after high school, how to deal with relationship problems). Of course the most important thing we need to know is how God expects us to live; He expects us to follow His rules and to be an example of His love. But can we live the life God wants us to live without knowing how He wants us to live? No! And how do we determine how He wants us to live? This verse gives us an answer:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
In this verse, the word “fear” can be translated as “respect,” so respecting God, and His word, is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of God gives us insight as to what He expects and how He wants us to live. When we know God’s “rules”—like the Ten Commandments—we know how we are to act and live.
Give several examples of how knowledge of God’s Word can help them make decisions. What if kids in your classroom are making fun of a child? Should you join in? Why or why not? God tells us, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Is making fun of someone an example of loving him? What does God expect us to do instead?
Ask older kids more difficult questions: What if a boyfriend or girlfriend is pressuring you to have sex? Search for the answer in the Bible. What if friends pressure you to approve of homosexuality, or drug use? As kids get older they’ll face the conflict between what the world expects as opposed to what the Lord expects. Again, knowledge of the Bible gives concrete answers.
There are no Bible verses that specifically address lying on a job application or not filing a tax return, but with knowledge of the Bible, it is clear that these are not things that God expects us to do. The Bible doesn’t tell us which college to attend or which job offer to accept, but again, by knowing the principles in God’s Word we can discern opportunities that clearly do not conform to His will and we also know that we can pray and ask Him to guide us.
How can we gain the knowledge He expects us to have? As well as reading the Bible your children (and all of us!) can learn about Him at church, Sunday school, and through prayer and listening to Him. As you, as a parent, are your kids’ first teachers, make it a priority to teach them knowledge of the Lord. Read the Bible to them; read it with older kids and discuss the meaning of what you’ve read. Take them to church and Sunday School and discuss what the sermon was about and what they learned. Demonstrate, in your life, seeking knowledge of God and seeking His will when you are faced with decisions.
“The wise lay up knowledge…”
Be wise. Seek knowledge of the Lord, and help and encourage your children to do the same.
Lord, knowledge of you is the most important knowledge we can have. Please help me to see Your knowledge, and help me to help my kids gain it too. Amen.
(For more discussion of “knowledge”, look up and discuss the following verses: Psalm 139:6, Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 10:14, 13:16, 15:14, 17:27; Isaiah 11:2, 11:9, Habakkuk 2:14, Luke 11:52, 1 Corinthians 8:11, 2 Peter 2:20)
I’m also blogging this month at Nebraska Family Times. Today’s post is also about knowledge, targeted towards encouraging adults to gain knowledge about God.