Accept No Shortcuts


When teaching children the Bible, it’s often tempting to look for time-saving, convenient shortcuts for preparation and presentation. Some materials even boast of how “quick and easy” their Bible material is for the teacher or parent…”only 20 minutes needed to prepare a lesson.” But consider these words from Lou Priolo:

…Have you ever heard this riddle? Question: What is the first rule for teaching a parakeet how to talk? Answer: You must have a larger vocabulary than the parakeet!

The same principle is true of parenting. If you (like Timothy’s mother and grandmother) are going to teach your children God’s Word, you must know the Scriptures yourself. There is no escaping it. There is no effective shortcut to studying the Bible yourself. Of course, you can read them stories for the Bible, anecdotes from a daily devotional quarterly, and catechize them from a catechism manual. But as good as these methods are, they are not as effective as communicating biblical truth from your heart directly to theirs with personal insight and application. For you to rely solely on someone else’s preparation of God’s Word for your children is to neglect the first part of the passage before us (Deut. 6:6). Someone has said that a message prepared in a mind reaches a mind, but a message prepared in a life reaches a life. In other words, the more God’s Word you have internalized yourself (v. 6) the more effectively you will be able to properly indocrinate your children in the Scriptures (vv. 7-9).

 (Teach Them Diligently: How to use the Scriptures in Child Training, copyright©2000, page 12)

(Photo courtesy of Pat Pitchaya at

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Truth78.

3 Responses to “Accept No Shortcuts”

  1. Anna August 12, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    Hi, is anyone able to suggest good one-to-one Bible Study material for teenage girls?

  2. Karen Hieb August 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Rejoicing in God’s Good Design: A Study for Youth on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood was created for use with teen-age girls and boys, and it could be used one-on-one with a teen girl. Also, the webpage for this curriculum (click the link provided above) references a couple of helpful resources available as free PDF downloads.

  3. Anna August 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    Thank you!

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