Teaching your children the faith

In Malachi 2v14, God declares that his intend for family life is "godly offspring," and in Deuteronomy 6v4-9 he gives the primary responsibility for this not to the church, but to the family. It is a joy to be given this task, but we are very aware of our need of help. The following are recommended as extremely useful. 

Books on parenting

Aren’t they lovely when they’re sleeping by Anne Benton
A superb, brief, wise, biblical overview of Christian parenting. If there is only one book you buy, buy this one. Published by Christian Focus.

Disciplines of a godly family by R Kent & Barbara Hughes
Great book of practical advice and creative ideas on how to raise your children in the faith. Published by Crossways Books.

Shepherding a child's heart by Tedd Tripp
A special focus on biblical parenting, and especially of shaping hearts rather than simply ensuring obedience. The book is a must read, but the chapter on discipline needs some discernment.

For more good books, browse the “Children and family life” and “Children” sections of the Christian Focus website: www.christianfocus.com

For teaching the Bible to young children

Don't wait until they can understand before you read the bible and pray with them. From the start, try to establish a daily spot, perhaps at breakfast or before bed in which you do these things. It means that bible reading and prayer will be instinctive to your children and that you will not forget to pray for them. Include the Lord's Prayer in your daily prayer with them and they may well be able to recite it by the time they are 2.

When the chidlren are a little older, try to supplement the bedtime Bible story with one of the Bible study resources, discussed for 5 minutes over breakfast. If you miss a day or two, don't worry, just pick it up the next day.

Children's Bibles

There are all sorts of basic newborn books of bible stories for children under 1 year old. From then on consider:

The Beginner’s Bible 1-3yr olds
Excellent paraphrase of most of the bible for young children, with good illustrations.

Marks & Spencer First Bible Stories 4-7yr olds
Very good simple rendering of key stories and events through the Bible, with great illustrations.

The Jesus storybook Bible 4-8yr olds
Slightly longer rendering of the Bible stories with theology interwoven in an almost poetic way, and showing how every story is fulfilled in Jesus.

The children's Bible in 365 stories 7 yrs+
Longer stories and more grown up pictures, taking children through the Bible and introducing them to stories not included in the younger children's Bibles.

The International Children's Bible 7yrs+
Highly regarded translation for children, with good illustrations, dictionaries and maps.

The New International Readers Version of the Bible 12yrs+
A simplified rendering of the popular NIV adult Bible. Very helpful for families reading together when the adults are using the NIV. There is a child's version if you are reading together with younger children: The New Light Children's Bible suitable for 7yrs+

Bible study resources

Table Talk from the Good Book Company.
Excellent, short readings and questions suitable from 4yrs+ 

Long story short by Marty Machowski
Perhaps the best daily notes to do with children from 4yrs+ These work through the Old Testament with NT application, and the questions cover those across primary school age.

XTB from the Good Book Company
Great Bible reading notes that 7-11 yr olds might do on their own.

Other resources

The King the snake and the promise enhanced CD
Superb CD giving an overview of the bible through 29 songs. Great for getting children singing along to Bible truth. It is worth it just for this. But the enhanced CD-ROM also contains sheet music for the songs and a 10-session programme for teaching your kids aged 3-11 the whole Bible story. Published by The Good Book Company. 

Meet the King enhanced CD
This great CD takes kids through Mark's gospel in the same way. Published by The Good Book Company.

Any CD or DVD by the Australian children's presenter Colin Buchanan
(His material is funny but packed with bible truth. Your children will love it even from 3yrs upwards, and you will all find yourselves singing along in the car. The CDs can be bought from the Goodbook Company. The DVDs can only be found on the net or in Australia. But they really are worth seeking out.)

The miracle maker movie DVD
A superb animated and faithful dramatization of the life of Jesus for children that brings everything alive. 

The Prince of Egypt
A useful animated and musical dramatization of the Exodus. Although it will need to be explained that not everything in the film is in the Bible!

My first book of…
… questions & answers (Christian truth by question & answer)
… Bible promises (each one stated and explained)
… memory verses (each one stated and explained)
… Bible prayers (each one stated and explained)

Cheap, simply explained and full of the Bible. Black and white pictures are small, but can be coloured in. Published by Christian Focus.

The “Me too” collection
Simple rendition of bible stories with good illustrations, for under 5s. Tapes of the books can also be bought on which the story is read with extra songs and aids to help your child learn to read. There is a lot added to most of these stories, sometimes distorting the true meaning. But they are engaging. Published by Candle Books, an imprint of Lion Hudson.

Coming of the King - Advent Calendar Pack by Alison Mitchell
(Advent Calendar and Book to help families explore the Bible at Christmas. The accompanying book helps families to read two or three verses from Matthew or Luke each day, discuss some simple questions and then pray together. Published by The Good Book Company)
For more good resources:
For quality children's Christian music see: 
For further help on choosing children's bibles see: