Can you relate to this story?
You tell your kids it’s time to read their Bible, they sit there for two minutes and read and then they say their done. You politely ask them what they read about, and they say, “I don’t know”.
You know that Bible reading and Bible study should be more than this, but how do you change it?
How do you get your kids to love studying their Bible, and actually apply what they read to their own lives?
Well the answer is in realizing that Bible reading and Bible study are two completely different things!
Would you rather this story?
You tell your kids it’s time to do their Bible study for the day. Your kids go to their school binder and open up to their Bible section.
In it they find a colorful Bible study worksheet printed just for them. The passage they are to read for the day is already written in at the top, and they find the passage and begin reading.
After a few minutes you watch them get their Bible study worksheet out of their binder and they also get their favorite pen. They begin at the top of the sheet and fill in the answers with their own thoughts.
They copy the verse in the text that spoke to them the most, and when you ask them what they read about, the answer they give is detailed and makes your heart happy.
Doesn’t the second scenario just sound a ton better?
I know that kids will be kids, and that not everyday will be a big “conquer the Bible study day”, but with practice, diligence, and the Holy Spirit, your child will grow spiritually.
You might be saying, “What is this magical method?”.
Well, it’s this simple little word called SOAP.
"S" is for Scripture
After your child reads the passage for the day, have him choose one verse that stuck out to him, and have him copy it on his journal page.
"O" is for Observe
Have your child look at the entire passage and summarize it in his own words. Sometimes it may be helpful to ask Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How to fill in the Observe section.
"A" is for Application
After choosing one verse, and summarizing the entire passage, what is God saying to your child? Have him write down his own feelings or thoughts in this section. There is no wrong answer here. This is what God is saying to them.
"P" is for Prayer
Encourage your child to spend a few minutes in prayer, asking God to help him apply what he has just learned from the passage that he studied today. He can write his prayer down in the section, keep a prayer journal, or say his prayer silently to himself. A free, printable prayer journal for children is available here.
I would encourage you to pray for your child too. The Devil is going to do all he can to stop and to discourage your child from doing his Bible study every day. With your encouragement and words of praise your child will soon love and desire to read from the Word of God.