Here are 7 tips in teaching children and teens to read the Bible
If we are good parents, we will read to our children at bedtime but also during the daytime too. My beloved wife has been such a good mother and she had this precious habit. She would read a book to our daughter at bedtime and this is a great way to increase a child’s attention span but also a great way to create a vivid imagination in their mind of a child. When we read stories out of the Bible and end the story in certain places, it makes them crave your continuing the story the next time. It is amazing how reading is infectious. It is contagious. And it is habit forming. To read to your children or grandchildren while they’re still young instills a hunger for the Word that can stay with them throughout their childhood and hopefully, continue into their adulthood.
Use Real Life Examples
When we read of heroic examples like when David took on Goliath  and then point out real life examples of heroic feats we can tie in real life stories with those heroes and heroines of the Bible. It seems to make their heroic acts of the faith stand out even more. I remember a young friend of mine who one day finally stood up to a bully in the schoolyard that was twice his size. He kept seeing this bully continue to pick on boys much younger and smaller than he was and this young friend of mine was often one of his targets. Then one day right after school let out, he was once again the target of this bully but this time instead of taking it, he lunged into the boy to all of our surprise. The boy gave it all he had. At this point, he feared nothing and he had finally had enough and he was really mad. I am not condoning what my friend did but we all have our limits and we can’t judge this young boy for finally losing his cool. My friend was holding his own when it was finally broken up by some parents who were passing by. The schoolyard bully ended up with a bloody lip and a black and purple eye. He wasn’t quite the same bully anymore because someone finally stood up to him. Like David, he went against all odds in taking on Goliath. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we teach our children that fighting is the answer but the point is that if you obey God and do the best you can, God will be pleased like with David, God was pleased to deliver Goliath into his hand and the whole course of Israel’s history was changed by one young boys courage and by his faith in God.
Use Real Life Settings
Many years ago I walked out of the grocery store and I pushed my shopping cart into the other carts but I noticed something. There in one of the shopping carts was a purse that someone had left in the cart. I looked around and saw that no one was looking or even in the parking lot. I picked up the purse to look for some identification and discovered what must have been well over a hundred dollars. I also found half a dozen credit cards. Since there wasn’t anyone around, my first inclination was wow, today was my lucky day and that I could just take the cash and leave the purse there but that was only a momentary, passing thought. This was before I was saved but I still felt enough pity for this older lady of whom I could tell because of her driver’s license picture and so I took it back into the store to the customer service desk. I told them exactly how much money there was in it, perhaps to make the person holding it more accountable by letting them know that I knew how much money was in her purse, and left my name at the counter (perhaps my greedy heart, hoping for a reward). The lady did return I heard but never even cared who found it and so I never did meet the lady. I felt a bit angry, hoping for a reward, but then thought, was that they main reason that I turned it in just so I could get a reward? What if it had been me and I left my wallet in a shopping cart? I use this lesson to teach that although no one else could have known about it and I could have just taken the money, the fact is I would have felt guilty and besides, I would know about it and more importantly, God would know. God sees the thoughts and intents of our heart and knows what we do even in the dark. There are many scriptures that I could find that say and teach this very thing.
If you want to teach your children from the Bible on tithing, be a tither yourself. You could also make a short Bible study on tithing and have them read all of the times where the giver is more blessed than the one receiving the gift. Also, you can teach that in giving, it is the only place that we’re allowed by God to test Him to see if He won’t pour out a blessing if we are generous givers (Mal 3:10; Luke 6:38). Your children are more likely to do what you do than do what you say so model biblical values like patience, kindness, and the rest of the spiritual fruit  mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. What you are saying is likely to be drowned out by what you are doing. Truly, more is caught than taught.
Get an Image-Rich Children’s Bible
There are a lot of children’s Bibles out there so why not take your child or children shopping to see which ones they want. There are Teen Study Bibles and there are Children’s Illustrated Bibles and just about any type of Bible you can imagine. Some even have audio stories that they can push a button and listen to certain stories that are read to them that come with character voices, music, and sound effects. Some come with CD’s and DVD’s that they can play on their computer. It hooks most children on Bible reading and besides, they do take pride in owning their own special Bible and they can take it to church services with them and see if they can follow along during the sermon or in Sunday school (minus the audio portions of course).
Tell them about the Indexes and Concordances
Children are naturally curious and so it’s to their advantage to know where to look to find out more about a certain subject. You can whet their appetite for example by having them look up the word “giant” and see what types of stories go along with that subject. You might even ask them a question to see if they can find the answer by using their concordance and look up the other verses by using the indexes or cross references if they have them. A lot of children’s Bibles have colorful maps that make the stories, places, and people come alive.
Online Bible Lessons
There are far too many children’s online Bible lessons websites to even mention and the thing is that most of these sites have colorful graphics and images and search boxes where they can find out more about things they’re interested in that are in the Bible. Many of these offer animated Bible stories and videos of epic events in the Bible. Some sites allow the children to go through the lessons and earn online certificates to give them more motivation.
There are many other ways to teach young children and teens to read their Bible and it’s a win-win situation. They are learning to read but more importantly, they are learning about God and His teaching and that is always in their and your best interest.
More help for children and the Bible: Bible Verses for Kids