What is saturation? If you add sugar to water bit by bit, you finally get to saturation point when no more sugar will dissolve in the water. The water is then thoroughly sweet. So it is with scripture. We hear the Word, hear some more, hear some more, and finally become so familiar with it that it becomes a part of us and our behavior is changed. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, saith the Lord, neither are your ways my wayssaith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)” Our goal is to actually exchange our thoughts for God’s thoughts, and when God’s Word is alive in our everyday lives, guiding the choices we make and the thoughts we think, we become more and more like Jesus. That’s our goal for ourselves and our kids. But the way mom, as you spend time teaching your kids God’s Word, explaining it to them, you in fact are meditating on it, and it becomes part of you; you’re not just teaching your children what they need to know to become successfuadults, you’re becoming a successful adult yourself.
As we pour ourselves into meeting the needs of our children (losing our own lives, as it were), we find we are well on the way to having a successful, productive life ourselves (“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matt. 16:25). Isn’t God’s plan wonderful?
When Rickey, my oldest child, was born, I was all charged up to raise a super-kid. I’d always wanted to be a teacher. I went to college for one year, got two years’ credit, and had only one teaching course before getting married at the age of eighteen. I was moving away from home (Rick was in the Air Force at the time), and fifteen months later, having my first child. So I was pumped to make him a super kid. We lived in a trailer at the time, as Rick was attending college, and I had the walls plastered with ABC’s. Rickey had learned them by the time he was eighteen months, and he could point to all the ABC’s and make a pretty decent attempt at saying them all.
About this time, we started attending a Sunday school class for which I will eternally be grateful. It was taught by a man named Larry Coy, who encouraged us to learn how to internalize God’s Word in our hearts to change our everyday lives. Rick and I were like sponges. Sunday school never lasted long enough for us. We’d get writer’s cramp every week taking notes, and all during the week I would ask God to show me a way to communicate these awesome principles of life to my little Rickey.
We were broke, but becoming richer every day as we saw God’s Word penetrate our hearts and lives and lead us in the paths of righteousness. The ABC’s came off the walls and Bible verses went up, and Rick and I began committing passages of scripture to memory. James 1 was the first chapter, and if you had walked into our humble living room, you’d have seen it, big as life, written in marker on old construction paper and taped to our paneled walls;but we learned it.
I began making Bible verses on 5x7 cards for Rickey, illustrating them with stick figures (I never was artistically inclined), but Rickey didn’t care. As a matter of fact, he began learning massive amounts of scripture for a 2-year-old. It was easy for him. He loved it and we loved it and cheered him on. Rick and I, both having been saved at the age of sixteen, saw huge changes in our own lives and our little boy was becoming mighty in spirit. God’s Word is the ONLY thing that permanently changes and molds our lives.
Our family grew. We bought our first house and moved out in the country. I didn’t have much company, so I gave myself to teaching my boys scripture. I’d ask God for ideas and He delighted in dropping ideas into my head – ways to make scripture a part of their surroundings. I made each boy a Character Sketch quilt, using Bill Gothard’s Character Sketch books (see www.iblp.org). They are big thick books that give stories about animals in nature that demonstrate particular character qualities, and stories of people in scripture that demonstrated that same quality. Kids relate so well to animals. I remember my little 3-year-old Timmy happily proclaiming, “Mommy, I was orderly just like the woodchuck!” On the front of the quilt blocks were a picture of the animal, the character quality it demonstrates, and a definition of the quality. On the backside of the quilt was a Bible verse to learn. We used these quilts every naptime to teach scripture. The kids would choose which animal to do each day. (Instructions for this quilt are detailed in “Fun Projects for Hands-On Character Building”)
The kids’ bedroom, in fact, was saturated with scripture. Covering the windows were curtains, colored by he kids using fabric crayons, showing Bible characters and qualities they demonstrated in their lives. Hanging by each child’s bed was a picture of Jesus holding their face in his hands, helping them to visualize that Jesus personally loves them.
Also adorning the walls were name plaques reminding the child of the meaning of their name. We carefully chose their names. “The Name Book” is an excellent resource to help with scriptural meanings of names. The older boys for a long while shared a room with the Noah’s Ark theme. I made macramé animals to hang on the walls, and each had a Bible name, ex.: Jeremiah the Giraffe, Enoch the Elephant, etc. Across the top of the walls was a chart, the ABC Bible men chart. A – Abraham, FAITH-And God counted it to him as righteousness (Romans -22. For full A-Z project see appendix 3). Each letter was represented by a Bible character, had an outstanding quality for that person, and a Bible verse to learn. I let the boys make plaques for the walls with church bulletins containing pictures and verses.
Another project was the “Rickey Board”. The first one was made out of scrap plywood we found at the dump. I had Rickey lie down, traced his outline on the wood and Rick cut it out with his jig saw. Around the edges we placed Bible verses I’d looked up in the concordance that showed him how to use his head down to his feet for Jesus (Instructions in “Fun Projects for Hands-On Character Building”). It was based on Romans 12:1-2, encouraging Rickey to give his body as a living sacrifice for his Lord.
In later years, we updated it and took a picture of Gracie, enlarged it to poster size, cut it out and attached it to backing, wrote verses around it, and put it in a poster frame (size 28x30).
We found that our kids were interested in helping us make the projects and the fact that the projects were personalized motivated them all the more to learn those scriptures.
Each room in the house had a theme. The kitchen was God’s provision. Rick and I had a quilt on our bed with the responsibilities of husband and wife to each other and I Corinthians 13 on it. The living room was God’s promises. My goal was to get scripture before our eyes to make a difference in our lives. By the way, I’m not even creative. God is though, and all the ideas I just told you about are simple to do. If you have older children, encourage them to help do projects with the little ones. God’s Word is alive, it’s precious, and it changes lives. Make it a priority!
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