Living the Word in Order to Teach the Word

When teaching children the Bible, it's often tempting to look for resources that are “easy-to-use” and require very little preparation time for parents or classroom teachers. But even when using the best Bible resources available in terms of Bible content and teaching methodology, there is an essential preparation component that is often glossed over or minimized. What is it?

...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 indoctrinate your children in the Scriptures (vv. 7-9). (Lou Priolo, Teach Them Diligently: How to use the Scriptures in Child Training, copyright©2000, page 12).