I’m sure there are many ways to study Scripture with your children, but one of my favorite tools to use with Ben is a Scripture word study. This is a method I often use to get to the heart of the meaning of specific verses that I hope will become especially meaningful for Ben.
The method involves 4 steps once your child has chosen a verse to study. You may certainly choose the verse for your child, but this is a tool that your child will begin to use independently. These are the basic steps:
1. Choose 6-8 keywords in the verse.
2. Define the keywords.
3. Rewrite the verse substituting these definitions.
4. Write a prayer, asking God to help with its application to your life
5. Make a list of how the verse might apply to your life right now. For younger children, you can have them draw their ideas.
Probably the easiest way for you to get an idea of how this works is for me to just share one of Ben’s verses, step-by-step.
First of all, we use the American Dictionary of the English Language, aka: Webster’s 1828 for our study. We also generally use the ESV translation of the Holy Bible.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. (Proverbs 3:1-2)
Define the Keywords
forget: to lose the remembrance of; to let go from the memory; to slight; to neglect
teaching: instructing; informing
keep: to practice; to do or perform; to obey; to observe in practice; not to neglect or violate
command: the power of controlling; governing influence; absolute authority
prolong: to lengthen in time; to draw out; to continue
peace: a state of quiet or tranquility; harmony; freedom from agitation or disturbance by the passions, as from fear, terror, anger, anxiety, or the like; quietness of mind.
prosperity: advance or gain in anything good or desirable; attainment of the object desired
We use index cards to write the verse and the keyword definitions – one card for the verse and one for each definition. Once Ben has written the definitions down on the cards, he goes through and highlights which part of the definition seems to fit the context of the verse best. Sometimes I will write the definitions for him, but he is always the one to search for them in the dictionary and choose the best one.
Rewrite the Verse Using the Keyword Definitions
My son, do not let go from memory my instructions, but observe and obey my governing influence and absolute authority in your heart. For they will bring you a long life, harmony, freedom from fear, terror, anger, and anxiety, and you will gain those things which are good and desirable.
Please help me to obery your Word, follow your instructions, and obey your authority. Give me a long life, free from fear and anxiety, filled with harmony and all things good and desirable. Amen.
I have created a simple tool you are welcome to use with your children. To download my Scripture Word Study printable, enter your email below.