My hubby and I shared a professor in Bible college. We took the class separately, but we were both impacted deeply by this wise man.
He was in his late 50’s and a new father, again. He and his wife adopted a young boy, after their children were grown. He wove his parenting challenges into his weekly lessons and while he taught us how to study the Bible, he also taught us how to be parents.
He spoke of how modern day parents put too much emphasis on non-eternal issues. And while I agree, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with rewarding our kids for good grades, clean rooms and baseball championships, as long as we also reward them for memorizing scripture, being kind to their siblings and respectful to their teachers.
I’ll never forget the professor coming in one day and saying, “I told my 9 year old son that if he could memorize The Sermon on the Mount, I would buy him any bike he wants!”
Y’all, The Sermon on the Mount is LONG. Chapters and chapters of tiny verses in red.
At the end of the semester, we celebrated with him when he said he was going bike shopping after class.
In the car a few weeks ago, our kids were chatting with us and we ended up talking about the story of Jonah and the whale from the Old Testament.
My son said, “I don’t know this story.”
I answered, “yes, you do…” and I tried to jog his memory.
“Mom, I’ve never heard that story. How could a man live inside a whale?”
My daughter piped in, “Haven’t you at least seen the movie?”
I looked at my hubby and he mentioned our college professor’s name and that’s when our idea was born.
The Challenge: We told our children if they read The Bible, they would be given a HUGE reward. My kids are two years apart, so we made the challenge within their capabilities. (My 9 year old is reading The New Testament in The Message Translation and my 7 year old is reading his entire Children’s Adventure Bible. Both kids have around 400 pages to read).
They have already read over 150 pages. Each.
Even though they both love reading, I know the big reward is not far from their minds.
After each page is completed, they initial the corner. After a couple of chapters, they tell us what they learned.
I have to admit, I’ve had to crack open my Bible and try to answer some tough questions like “Mom, why did Saul kill himself?”
I love that my kids are hiding God’s Word in their hearts. I know many parents might disagree with our approach of rewarding our kids for such a task, but we are trying to parent with a positive approach.
We don’t remind them, push them or coerce them to put their nose in The Book. We haven’t set a time limit either.
What do you think about it? Do you reward your kids? How?