‘We cannot hear from God if we do not know what His voice sounds like.
Reading the Word of God (the Bible) helps us learn how He thinks, how He talks, and how He walks.’
Isis Smalls, Beauty in the Making
In my last post, I outlined our plans and intended curriculum choices for the 2018-2019 school year. Inevitably, when you list a daily plan for a high schooler that includes Bible study, a question often surfaces. The question “sounds” something like, “How/ why do you study the Bible?” I am not as surprised at the question as I am by the fact that the question generally comes from a parent who is a Believer in Christ.
Several years ago, I wrote a blog post for another site, sharing my thoughts about a scenario that is all too real among Christian homeschoolers: we might use “Christian” curriculum, and might even teach Bible via memorization, narration, or a Bible-specific study with our young students. When it comes to high school, however, there is no designated space for Bible study; that academic life is all about college prep. You can read my entire post here.
When I talk about our Bible study, I am certainly not suggesting that ours is the only way to do it. It is simply what we do. Indeed, what we do has taken several forms over the years. When I first began to study the Bible with the children (as opposed to using the child-friendly pre-packaged programs out there), I had to move past my own arrogance and ignorance about certain parts of God’s Word. With that done, we have spent years just walking through the Bible– not just the “interesting” books like Psalms, Proverbs, or Philippians, not just those passages that tell great stories (and are easily teachable), like the books of Genesis or Esther. But instead, we are reading each Word, understanding that all of His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). As we have progressed, I have shared other thoughts about studying books like Exodus and Leviticus.
What are we doing?
First, we are learning to study the Bible inductively—a methodology I knew nothing of before a few years ago. But it has helped us in digging a little deeper than our previous study method. We use a learning aid (no longer available online) to help us gain insights into what we are studying. We also use books like Know Your Bible and of course, the internet, to help us put context to the Word, and to also help us include the following activities as appropriate:
- verse study/ word study
- copywork (from the book of Romans because donkeys talking to people and hearing from burning bushes ‘weren’t relatable’)
The obvious question would then be, how’s that working out for you? Is she really learning the Bible? I like to think so. I hear in her conversations that she is chewing on THE feast, and the Holy Spirit is doing what He does in her heart and mind—convicting, correcting, clarifying. By the way, He is doing the same in me—the benefit of studying together. Most of what I am doing, I fully realize, is teaching her how to engage with the Word, and to understand the voice of God. But, her walk with Him is her walk with Him. The reality of doing all of this is that there is no guarantee of who our children will become, even with the most well-developed Bible study methodology. But whenever I get anxious about the future condition of our children’s souls, I am reminded of a modern-day prodigal son, the child of my friend, and one who had strayed away from Christ. His mother continued to pray for him and for her other children. During this time, she also went home to be with the Lord after battling cancer. His words at her homegoing celebration were:
‘I thank you for guiding my spirit in the right direction; if it wasn’t so, I would have had no place to return to when I was lost.’
Lord, use me to always point the path back to You.