As a priest, I have noticed that there are few families of Christans where the Bible is studied systematically. We study it with the whole family and this is a great blessing for everyone. In this article I want to present to the reader seven reasons to study the Bible with the whole family and I wish that everyone may initiate this blessed practice in their house.
1. It is a commandment from God
When the people of Israel went out of Egypt, when they were in the wilderness, God gave them the Law (The 5 books of Moses), where it was written:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5–9)(NASB)
In that ancient period, when there were no printed materials as we have nowadays, when there were not so many possibilities to study His Word, God gave the commandment to the parents to use all possible resources, including the doorposts of the house and the gates, to imprint His commands on the children’s minds. This had to assure the happiness and the future of the children and of the country. So much more, we have to use the time and the resources that we have, to teach our children the Law of God.
2. The character is formed in the childhood
In the second Epistle, Apostle Paul, who was imprisoned in Rome, wrote to Timothy, his beloved disciple:
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. (II Timothy 1:5)(NASB)
The sincere faith was a quality present in the family of Timothy, because it was a part of his mother and grandmother’s character. This quality was inherited, or better said, it was learnt by Timothy, because the Word of God had been studied in their family. Here is what Paul also mentions about Timothy, while he advises him:
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (II Timothy 3:14–15)(NASB)
He became a righteous man and an experienced and blessed servant in the ministry of God, because he had been studying the Holy Scriptures from childhood.
3. The spiritual growth of the whole family
All members of the family will have the same growth with regarding the understanding of the biblical truth, because the same biblical subjects are studied and all participate in studying.
4. The family will be protected from the outside sinful pressures
The post-modern world where we live in, tries to influence our lives and families in all ways. Unfortunately, most of these influences are bad and destructive. Studying the Bible we protect ourselves and our children against these influences.
Once, Nastica, our 16 years old daughter, came from school very downcast and she told us that all students had been gathered in the festive-room of the school to meet a writer. In his speech, the writer began to motivate the students to go to the performance “The monologues of the vagina”, that is one with an immoral content. He said that people who were uneducated and dark don’t accept and criticize this performance. The pretended “writer” also said that he had been a surgeon before and he had done abortion to many women who had appealed to his services. Then, our daughter stood up and she confronted him in front of all people, saying: “I am one that hasn’t been at the performance “The monologues of the vagina” and not because I am uneducated, but especially because I have discernment and I want to protect my life, character and future family. Tell me, how do you pretend yourself to be an educated man, when we see in front of us a criminal who murdered so many unguilty children?” There was a complete silence in the room and no one had to say anything, neither the writer nor the teachers nor the students. We are very proud that our daughter was strong and wasn’t influenced by the pressures that was put on her and that are daily exerted on many pupils, young people students and all people. Our daughter could stay strong because her values had been built up on the Holy Scriptures, that we study with the whole family.
5. All members of the family will testify the Gospel with power
The Lord Jesus said that “the mouth speaks from that which fills one’s heart”. If the Word of God is studied in our houses systematically, our hearts will be filled with It and each of us will be a living witness of the Lord Jesus in every place. I have noticed how our children bore powerful testimonies to others and they haven’t even noticed this. That’s why every time I show interest how it was at school, what else have they done, etc. to hear things that bring me a great, very great joy, as the one Apostle John refered to, when he said:
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. (III John 4)(NASB)
Once our elder son, David told me that at the Physical Training lesson they had been taught about the healthy way of life. The teacher told them to protect themselves from drugs, because no one who started to take drugs can be set free of this. Then, David, raised up his hand, and when he was asked he said to the teacher and to the class: “My father has more friends that have been drug-addicted before, but when they found about the Lord Jesus and believed in Him with all their heart, our Lord set them totally free and now they are servants of the Gospel”. This phrase was a strong testimony about the power of our Lord and the Gospel.
6. The children will learn to discern right and wrong
The city Nineveh was the capital of the great ancient state Asyria. The evil of its inhabitants became so great, that God decided their destruction, but before this, he gave them one more chance for salvation, and He sent them the prophet Jonah. This prophet was full of hatred against them and he wished their destruction greatly. After he went for a day through the city, announcing the destruction, he went out from the city and sat east of it, to take delight in looking how the city and its inhabitants would be destroyed. God made appointed a plant to grew, that was a shelter for him, but it withered and Jonah was very angry.
Then the LORD said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals? (Jonah 4:10–11)(NASB)
We live in a world that lacks the power of discernment, some people can not distingush between good and evil. The inhabitants of the earth created and live a total confusion. They call the evil good and the darkness light. They call abortion “family planning” , while this is an intentioned murder of one’s own child. They call sexual perversions “untraditional sexual orientations”, while God calls them abominations and evil things. This lack of discernment can be seen at people of all ages and in all life’s domains. After almost all families of the women who go abroad are destroyed, it seems that the number of those who leave their family should decrease. But we see that more women go abroad. A total lack of discernment. People do not know the difference between their right and left hand. If we teach our children the Word of God and if we study it together, we will be able to discern good and evil and be wise people, having the power of discernment, as the Bible says, when it writes about the importance of a deep study of its message:
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)(NASB)
7. The children learn the discipline of the study
Studying the Holy Scriptures systematically in the family, children will learn a discipline, which they will respect for all their lives, in the most difficult circumstances, and they will do the same thing in the families they will have. The study of the Holy Scriptures will bring them happiness, joy and protection.
In the next article I want to come with some practical advice how to study the Bible efficiently with your family.
Translated by Djugostran Felicia