An Approach to Family Bible Study
Good News Magazine
January 1980
Volume: VOL. XXVII, NO. 1
Issue: ISSN 0432-0816
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An Approach to Family Bible Study

God's Word reveals to man the things he needs to know but could not otherwise discover. Studying that Word is imperative to the spiritual growth of Christians! And since God's purpose is that mankind become part of His Family, family Bible study should be an integral part of your life. This article shows more about how to study God's instruction Book together.

   The purpose for which God made man, as Herbert W, Armstrong, God's apostle, has explained, was to reproduce Himself. God is now in the process of building a perfect, immortal Family of beings just like Himself.
   As this physical life pictures that spiritual reality, we must realize how vitally important the human family and the success it achieves as a unit is to the development of God's Family,

Collective study vital

   Collective family study of the Bible as well as individual study should be an integral part of our Christian lives, Notice God's admonition to families in Deuteronomy:
   "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads, Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up,
   "Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth" (Deut, 11:18-21, New International Version).
   While allowing each family member to worship God and to learn more about His character, family Bible study makes available time for parents and children to spend together, building a stronger family relationship. Fellowshipping and studying the Bible — with the father, mother and children all present — is a positive force to offset all the negative pressures society places on the family structure,
   The fact that one or both parents are Church members places the children in a special category in God's eyes, He can call them when they are old enough to understand His truth, and parents can help them by teaching them about God and the perfect way He wants His people to live (I Cor. 7:14).

Teaching children about God

   If a child is taught the proper way of life from the time he is very young, he will not cast aside that training when he grows up (Prov. 22:6), Family Bible study periods provide perfect opportunities for parents to teach their children about God.
   Several principles should be remembered in educating younger children about their Maker. Emphasize to your children this overall principle: "Obedience to God and His laws produces happiness and blessings. Disobedience and rebellion bring unhappiness and punishment" Develop your children's sense of morality — make sure they understand that the only way to be truly happy is by pleasing and glorifying God.

Don't fictionalize the Bible

   When you are telling children what the Bible says, make sure you tell them exactly what the Bible says, For example, don't fictionalize about -biblical characters just to hold your children's interest Give them a realistic, mature, serious view of God's Word.
   Don't depend on storybooks about the Bible — use the Bible itself. Most other sources, with the exception of the Work's own youth Educational Services (YES) materials, are many times unscriptural and put false concepts about God and the Bible into children's minds, Nor do these other "helps" teach the true purpose of life — the authors ignore the subject because they don't understand it themselves.
   Relate the Bible's lessons to everyday life, Examples can promote understanding, especially for younger children,
   Set a regular time for teaching your children about the Bible, and stick to it If the family discussions are interesting, the children will look forward to Bible study time — and thus gain a healthy attitude toward delving into God's Word.
   Keep sessions short enough so your children don't get tired. Some parents have turned their children against God's Church by forcing them to endure long lecture periods,
   Over the years my family has found it rewarding to discuss God's Word after a meal (whether during the week or after a Sabbath brunch), In this relaxed environment, many of today's problems and joys can be shared and lessons learned. Encourage all members to participate.
   As children mature into adolescents and teenagers, you can introduce them to more complicated concepts and encourage them to begin to study the Bible on their own,
   Studying God's instruction Book as a family group will strengthen the unit that physically pictures God's goal for the world tomorrow — billions of perfect, powerful, Spirit-born members of His own Family, enjoying endless happiness and achievement and ruling the universe.

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Good News MagazineJanuary 1980VOL. XXVII, NO. 1ISSN 0432-0816