6 Tips For Successful Family Scripture Study
A few weeks ago in church we were talking about scripture study.
We all were sharing how it works and doesn't work for us.
I fall short in many areas of both parenting and gospel ideals, but I have a strong testimony of family scripture study.
I stink at FHE, but I am very consistent at family prayer and scripture study. It is part of our life and part of our routine.
I pray that as my kids face the winds and storms of this life this will be their anchor.
I know that it has been mine...
Not only are we building a firm family foundation as we spend this time together, I know the foundation of each of my children is being solidified.
I need that hope for them.
They don't know it yet, but they will need this too!
The stories we find here, the peace we feel when we open these books, the application to life, the looking to God, the faith and trial, the enlightenment and joy, all of these things come as we read and discuss books of scripture.
I come from a parentage that made this a priority in our lives and it has molded each of me and my own siblings lives.
At such a young age my dad had a stroke and with all of that trauma, my mom caring for him, his new handicaps and struggles, it really tried our family.
Family scripture study and prayer was our anchor.
Fortunately, before my dad had his stroke he took the time to journal, so we have records. He also shared his knowledge via some articles.
These tips come from my dad, from his article: How We Started Family Scripture Study (And Stopped Feeling Guilty).
We carry on this righteous tradition in my own family. I have from the beginnings of my kids lives. I know how important it is, because I have witnessed the positive effects of it in my own life.
6 steps for successful scripture study:
2- Determine a time
3- Make it happy, and a privilege
4- Involve everyone
5- Be creative
6- Follow up
In my own family these steps have been helpful.
I decided early that this would be a staple in our home and started reading scriptures to my girl when she was just a baby.
We have read, over and over, the same scripture books that were read to me when I was little. Since the kids have grown we have transitioned into actual scripture.
As you can see from the photo above, where my daughter is rolling around on the bed, that some flexibility is needed as we train these little ones to quietly listen when we read together!
This is much easier now that they are all a bit older.
Our time is before bed. I try to get started early with bedtime routine so we aren't rushed through scriptures and prayer.
There are days when our time is short, and something, one verse each, one verse at all, is better than nothing.
Make it a privilege. This is sweet family time together and there have been occasions where kids are out of control, don't respond to me simply asking that they hold still, or stop laughing... or whatever it may be. In these cases I have excused the child to go to bed. With that consequence there is no family prayer and no 'tuck in'. This is a group deal!
Now, I never want my kids to go to bed with bad feelings and I really want them to be at scriptures and prayer. A line must be drawn though.
It has only taken one time with each kid... and each of them have been excused!
I go and talk to them after I've tucked everyone else in, to explain that I want us to all be together. I want them to be there for scripture study. I want it to be important to them. I want them to choose to be there. I witness that choice by their behavior.
These days seem long gone. We are always together, I've not had to send anyone to bed for the longest time! Again, it helps that they have grown up a bit more.
We try to keep it light, make sense of the funny language, bring out pictures occasionally. Mostly we take time to talk about what we have read. What does it mean? Why is it important? How have we done that or seen that? Does that happen in our family or home or life?
There are times a topic springboards into something deeper, something they want to understand better, and we just go with it.
We always end with family prayer.
Everyone is involved. We all read most nights, most nights everyone has something to say. We take turns praying as well.
I am a creative person, but I admit that now we are pretty straight forward and there isn't much creativity!
I think, for us that word has changed to flexibility.
I try to be flexible with topics and lessons, and expectations.
I have been flexible with material as well. There have been days that we just learn about scripture prophets instead of reading from the scriptures.
We have read uplifting and faith-filled stories instead of scriptures.
Again, when kids are younger you've gotta keep it fresh and exciting sometimes.
Follow up for us, is checking in to see what everyone remembers about our last study time together.
Also, if there is a family situation that comes up, where I can apply what we have been talking about, it can be very powerful.
FHE would be an ideal time to play quiz games, trivia games, to learn as well as see what is remembered.
Proverbs 3:6 says: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I really am so amazed and grateful to have had parents that trained me the way they did.
They have given me the me foundation of habit, which I have built upon, and added to! This habit has kept me centered and at peace throughout my life, even when things have been dark, confusing and hard.
I hope to give that to my own children. I want it to be their anchor as it has been mine.
Do you read scripture as a family?
What works for you?