Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, bring up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
My wife and I’s highest aspiration for our four children is that they will come to genuinely know, love, and serve Jesus. How do we point our children to Jesus? We teach them the Bible at home, because we believe that the Word of God is powerful.
As our children have grown, there are many great Bible-teaching resources that we have used in our home. Here are some Hulinsky favorites:
Long Story Short and Old Story New by Marty Machowski. I am a huge proponent of families setting aside a daily time for “family worship.” The hardest things about having daily family worship in your home are (1) setting a time that you can consistently meet and (2) knowing exactly what to do in those devotions. These two books are excellent, and for dads who are not sure where to start, they will get you going and keep you going for a couple years. After that, you’ll be a pro and able to handle devotions without Machowski’s help. If you are new to family devotions, I would start with Long Story Short, which is the Old Testament edition. These devotions are great for elementary-age children.
Family Worship by Donald Whitney. Speaking of family worship, this is my go-to book about family worship. If you need motivation to start a family worship time in your home, or if you need practical tips on how to get started and what to do, this is the book for you.
The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth Taylor. If you are looking for a Bible story picture book for preschoolers, this is a classic. Ours is held together now with duct tape, from much use.
The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm is another beautiful Bible storybook for children. The name of this story Bible is doubly descriptive — the pictures are huge, colorful, and beautiful. But the goal of this children’s Bible is to give children the “big picture” — the whole storyline of the Bible. Instead of simply isolated stories, this story Bible shows how God works out his plan for history, starting with God’s promise in Genesis and culminating with Christ’s eternal kingdom in Revelation.
Seeds Family Worship is a ministry that produces fun, upbeat music with lyrics directly from the Bible. Our whole family absolutely loves this music — not just the children, but Mom and Dad as well. Looking for a Christmas present that your children will love, AND that will make an eternal impact on their lives? Buy a Seeds Family Worship album or two.
We have been subscribing for several years now to Answers Magazine from Answers in Genesis, and have been thrilled with it. The quarterly magazine is a great resource for teaching your children a biblical worldview — particularly in equipping them with scientific support for creation rather than evolution.
I have been blown away by the quality of the magazine. Each issue is packed full of beautiful photography and interesting, well-documented articles.
This magazine is not written for children, but for adults. However, our 11-year-old son, a lover of science, just devours the magazine, even though some of the content must be a stretch for him. And each magazine comes with an “Answers for Kids” insert in the middle that is produced for children.
My kids go to public school, so I am thrilled to have this magazine coming to my house, that we can use to evaluate and counter some of the naturalistic assumptions and arguments that the kids will hear in their school.
The ESV Seek and Find Bible is a Bible that we have used as our kids’ first Bible. The ESV translation is what our church uses for Awana, so it matches the verses they memorize. What’s unique about this Bible is the 130 full-page, full-color illustrations. With each full-page illustration, there is a clear and accurate re-telling of the Bible story for young readers. When our children were able to read but not quite ready to read straight out of their Bibles, we had them read through these stories, and they loved them.
My favorite translation is the New American Standard Bible, and I really like the ESV. But both of those translations are at a high school level, and I want my children to be able to read through the Bible themselves long before then! The first time I read through the Bible for myself, I was 10 years old, and I read through the Bible using a Good News Bible. I still have that Bible, and now my 11-year-old son has also read all the way through it on his own, and my 9-year old daughter is more than half way! The beauty of this translation is that it is super-simple. I also like the little line-drawing illustrations that are interspersed throughout the text.
When your children are young and you start them reading the Bible on their own, find them a translation that’s easy to read. Other easy-to-read translations are available, like the NIrV and the CEV.
If you are looking for a book for biblical advice on parenting, I have several favorites. I love Gospel-Powered Parenting by William Farley, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp, and What the Bible Says about Parenting by John MacArthur.
Also, if your children attend public school like ours do, you should read Going Public by David and Kelli Prichard.
Sometimes you want to have a conversation with your child about a particular issue, and you want to share Scripture with them. But what Scriptures relate well to the issue?
The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Youth by Keith and Patricia Miller can help with that. Want to have a Bible-based talk with your child about Video Games? Or Satan? Or Laziness or Jealousy or Guilt or Fear?
This resource will be very helpful to you. Under each subject, there will be about 5 biblical principles, each backed up with several verses and usually some biblical illustrations.