“One, two, three, FOUR…. Four steps,” my husband screamed!
By the sound of the cheering and screaming, you would have thought we were cheering our daughter on in her first marathon. But instead, we were counting and celebrating her first steps.
Like most parents, we had cleared some of the furniture out of our family room. Too many large, wooden, objects were perfect opportunities for a trip to the ER. “Let’s try it again,” we yelled. “One, two, three, four…”
Those first steps were big steps. As most parents would be, we were excited that our child was finally walking. They were small, clumsy steps at first, but giant steps to us. Who knew something as simple as walking could be so exciting to a parent.
Maybe it’s not coincidence that the Bible uses the language of walking so often. Learning to walk is not something we do only as children. Sometimes just taking the right steps can be so difficult for us as followers of Christ. We shouldn’t be so surprised that we have a Father who delights in our steps, who cheers us on, and advises us on the journey. Walking matters to God. Obedience is often one step in front of the other. “One, two, three, FOUR!”
This is one of the reasons we love Psalm 1 so much as a family. In fact, it is one of the first passages of Scripture we teach our children when they are old enough to begin memorizing the Bible.
Psalm 1 says:
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
We have taught our children many scriptures from the time they were toddlers. We are far from super-parents for teaching our children the Bible, and our children are far from super-human, for memorizing the Bible. All it takes is a continual, weekly chipping away at one Scripture at a time.
Psalm 1 is a particular passage that we have not only memorized, but really taken on as our family mantra. We come back to it often as we need to remind ourselves to walk in wisdom and the promises God gives us if we do so. We don’t want our children to forget that. We want them to remember that when we walk in wisdom we are like those beautiful trees that have an endless supply of water and are overflowing with fruit. We make that scripture come alive for them.
Teaching our children the Bible has always been an important part of our family life. The impact scripture can have on the lives of our children today and in the future is explained in Psalm 119:105. It says, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” This is serious business. The Scripture we teach our children now will stay with them for life and God will use those words to illuminate their way.
Do you have a particular passage of scripture that your family leans on? If not, I encourage you to take time to pick a passage of Scripture or a verse that you will memorize together as a family. Make it fun, keep it consistent, and live it out! God’s Word is living and active. Like a farmer who plants seed, so is a parent who hides God’s Word in the heart of their children.
Having a Bible of their own is an important way to help kids feel connected to Scripture. We love the new Really Woolly Bible in the NIV translation. It’s easy to read and has fun, colorful inserts to make kids excited about opening the Bible and will hopefully start them on a lifetime of walking in the Word.