Whatever You Do, Don't Teach Your Kids the Bible!
Whatever You Do, Don't Teach Your Kids the Bible!
Obviously, this title is misleading.
No Christian parent in their right mind has any intention of not teaching their kids the Bible. But sometimes hearing it a little differently can bring some clarity of thought, some vision for what they do want, and, if nothing else, a little comic relief.
This, then, is a tongue-in-cheek treatise of what not to do. The opinions are definitely not my own.
When kids are taught the Bible, they become nuisances.
They dilute the toxicity of the culture. They have a spark, a zest, a certain resilience and wisdom that feels like splinters under the fingernails of darker forces. They don't cave to peer pressure as easily. They have a balance and intuitive navigation that is beyond their years and experience.
So don't, whatever you do, teach your kids the Bible.
Here's a few practical tips (you'll be relieved at how easy they are!)
1.Trick them into being bored with it.
The best way to do this is to model boredom in your own life. Drag out your Bible for church only, and make sure they know that it holds little interest for you. Sigh a little, if you can. Fidget during the sermon, checking your watch a few times. Then put that dangerous book back on the shelf till next week. Of course, you don't have to try too hard - kids are smart, and they will pick up easily on your disinterest.
2. Make them hate it.
There are many effective strategies for implementing this one. I will highlight a few of the most successful plans, but feel free to get creative. There are lots of ways to grow hate and mistrust of God and the Bible, but they all boil down to one key point: make them associate people's sin and weakness with Scripture. Lead them to believe that God approves bullying and unfair behavior. Let them think that He endorses hate and is completely unsympathetic to human weakness. A perfect example is the parent that quotes Scripture at their children, preferably in a heated argument. Preferably when their veins are bulging, and they can infuse some self-righteous condemnation in their tone. Practice this one. Make sure the only time they hear the Bible quoted is when it's directed at them in a negative way. Don't, under any circumstances, pray God's promises over them, use it to affirm His love for them, or share how Scripture has commands for parents, too. Keep them in the dark about your responsibility before God as a person and a parent.
3. Be self-righteous.
This one ties in with point #2, but deserves it's own moment in the spotlight. Self-righteousness is one of the simplest and most effective strategies to effectively NOT teaching your kids the Bible. It's best if you can be blatantly hypocritical, but if you can't manage that, at least never apologize for mistakes, don't admit where you messed up, and regularly criticize their behaviors. Look down your nose at them from the lofty tower of your own smug haughtiness. Don't identify with their struggles and weaknesses. At all costs, don't ever let them read Hebrews 4:14-16. One application of this truth can undo years of work - it can completely eradicate all your efforts to implement points 1-3! So, staple Hebrews closed, use glue, white it out...do what you have to do. To be safe, just chuck the entire New Testament. One can't be too careful.
4. Swindle them into believing it's irrelevant.
Don't clue them in to the help and hope that Scripture provides in navigating daily life. Don't look to it for any guidance in your own life. DO NOT apply anything you hear or read at church, Bible study, Christian radio, or any other source tainted with truth. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a bad idea to expose them or yourself to any or all of these things. They key (don't miss it!) is to nod approvingly, yes and amen with gusto... and do absolutely nothing with it. If it doesn't change your life, why should they believe it has any power to change theirs? These children of ours are smart cookies. If Scripture doesn't do anything...then it is utterly irrelevant. Irrelevant = time waster. If you can effectively implement this strategy, you won't even need to rip out the New Testament. It won't merit a glance.
5. Choose their influences (un)wisely.
It takes a village to raise a child that hates Scripture. You will need help, but not to worry, this is actually easier than you might imagine. Encourage your kids to develop friendships with kids who either have a deep-seated disdain for God and the Bible, or ones who effectively model self-righteousness and/or demonstrate point #4 effectively. It's best if their parents are reinforcing all you've worked hard to achieve, because consistency is key in raising a kid who has no interest in the Bible. If they get a glimpse of what it truly means to study, apply, and pray Scripture consistently, then you are in for serious, and I mean serious trouble. Children are attracted to shiny Jesus-light. They love authenticity, so FOR GOODNESS' SAKE, do NOT allow them to catch a glimpse of it.
Good luck in your journey, parent. Fortunately, you won't need it. Because, although all the above strategies are proven to be effective, statistics show that all you really need to not teach your kids the Bible is...nothing.
Just sit there.
Time and the pull of our culture will do the rest.
Saved by grace alone, Kelly Canfield is a stay at home wife, homeschooling mom, and recovering perfectionist. She is a passionate Jesus-lover, married to her best friend and hero, Joe. Together they are raising 3 lively children (ages 5, 2, and almost 1). She enjoys strong coffee, great books, and quiet time (a rare commodity.) At nap time you can find her over atwww.searchingformyeden.com, where she blogs about the trials and triumphs of marriage, motherhood, and following Jesus. Her first eBook,Tired: Living Fully Engaged Through The Weary Season is coming out soon.