Homeschooling: Teach Your Children Bible Principles for What to Read

Teach Your Children Bible Principles for What to Read

With homeschooling, you can teach your children Biblical principles for what to read.

Make sure you do!

This was especially important in our family as our children became readers. There was no way I could pre-read all the books before my children read them so we came up with a list of questions to ask yourself as you read. 

If a book you were reading had these objectionable elements in it, or an objectionable tone, then you didn’t finish reading the book!

Because we need to be careful what things we put in our mind, we wanted to be careful about what we read. We wanted to please the Lord even in our reading for entertainment. We used similar questions for watching shows.

  • Are the good characters acting in a way that you should not act?
  • Are the good characters made fun of for being good?
  • Are the bad characters being rewarded for acting badly?
  • Are the characters using objectionable language?
  • Are the characters promoting a lifestyle that is unbiblical?
  • Is there unnecessary gory descriptions of violence or evil?

After posting the above, I received the following good questions:

  • Why would “good” characters be acting in a way that is not honorable?
  • Why should I stop reading a book if good characters are mocked or degraded for being good?
  • What is objectionable language? And why should the presence of it stop me from reading?
  • What is wrong with depicting violence and bloodshed? It is a fact of life and present in history…

Monitor What to Read by Scriptural Principles

Thank you for asking! If you’ve never heard of monitoring your reading choices by Scriptural principles, I’m sure this sounds extreme. I understand! Years ago I would have said the same thing. 

However, a good pastor challenged our youth group to come up with biblical principles to help us live the Christian life. Every now and then, I review these to make sure I am not feeding my fleshly desires but am seeking to live a life that would be pleasing to God. 

I am not saying I know exactly what YOU should read or not read. I am just saying that our family used these principles as we decided what we should read.

Literature with Christian biblical and spiritual value lifts up the inner spirit and soul and has the power to motivate and inspire readers to follow Christ. It draws the reader to evaluate himself in light of Scripture and the life of Christ. 

I want my lessons to be age appropriate and still be very, very careful about what my children read and look at. Look at the following list and see if your children’s  reading fits these high standards: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Now to your questions: 

Why would “good” characters be acting in a way that is not honorable?

I am specifically talking about a character that is being portrayed as good. “When someone is impressive because of their great skills, brains, strength, or accomplishments, others will emulate them. To emulate is to imitate and model yourself after someone.”

This is as true in literature as it is in real life. This is why you need to put good books in front of your children and good role models, too!

As an illustration of this, I will use the character Hermione in the first Harry Potter book. She is a main character with impressive skills, brains, and accomplishments and she is portrayed as noble. However, she was not accepted into the group until she had lied to cover for the misdeeds of Ron and Harry. For me this is a problem. It is teaching that in some circumstances (to cover for your friends) it would be okay to lie. That is not the behavior I want my children to imitate.

Why should I stop reading a book if good characters are mocked or degraded for being good?

I would stop reading a book if the overall tenor and purpose of the book is mocking good biblical choices and morals. I don’t want my biblical beliefs to be undermined by my reading choices. There are enough people in the world today criticizing Christians for following the Bible and living out biblical truths. In my reading time, I want my biblical values to be encouraged. 

What to Read: Should I read books with swear words?

What is objectionable language? And why should the presence of it stop me from reading?

Objectionable language is defined as vulgar, unpleasant, disgusting, upsetting, inappropriate, sexually explicit, obscene, profane or hateful. 

  • With my young children, I did not want them using words like stupid, idiot or dumb.
  • With my older children, this list obviously included many, many more profane words.
  • If you could get sent to the school office for saying a word, I didn’t want to be hearing it or reading it or watching it in a show.

Remember, God is holy and commands us to be holy (set apart for Him) as well. This should be true in our language, conduct and reading also. 

What to Read: Some Scripture Verses to Help Us

From the Old Testament:

Lev 11:45 For I am the Lord, who took you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; so be you holy, for I am holy.

Lev 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.

Deut 28:9 “The LORD will assign you to be a holy people for himself, just as he promised you, as long as you keep his commands and walk in his ways.

This truth is repeated in the New Testament as well:

1 Pet 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1 Pet 2:5 “ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Honor Christ!

Remember, no activity comes without a moral consequence. I want my activities to point me to Christ, right living and right thinking. So I want my reading choices to honor Christ.

1 Cor 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

What is wrong with depicting violence and bloodshed? It is a fact of life and present in history…

You are correct- violence and bloodshed are facts of life. However in my reading, I am referring to explicit, extended descriptions of violence with all the particulars of torture, death and evil. I don’t need 3 chapters of reading about how a characture was tortured to death – just tell me the person died after being tortured! However, some writers give extended details of these kinds of evils and I don’t want that in my head.

And, pay attention here: we should be careful that we aren’t letting our young women read books about romance all the time. Why? Because many of these books promote completely unrealistic expectations for healthy relationships. If your girls try to imitate this kind of behaviors in their relationships, they will certainly end up struggling. 

Bonus: Other Scriptures to Consider for Reading Principles

Romans 8:5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

2 Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Psalm 1:1  How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.

Psalm 141:4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice deeds of wickedness with men who do iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Proverbs 4:14 Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men.

Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards himself will be far from them.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

Proverbs 4:14 Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men.

SUMMARY:

Remember, no activity comes without a moral consequence. I want my activities to point me to Christ, right living and right thinking. So I want my reading choices to honor Christ.

1 Cor 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Literature with Christian biblical and spiritual value lifts up the inner spirit and soul and has the power to motivate and inspire readers to follow Christ. It draws the reader to evaluate himself in light of Scripture and the life of Christ, doing all to the glory of God.

Let’s read like that!

👫 👧 👧 👦 👧 Mom of 4 strong willed kids 🎨 Started as an Art teacher 📚 Love to read! Visit HomeschoolChristianMom.com for more info the.elizabeth.estelle on Instagram

You might also like to view: High Schooling Options: Why You Should Homeschool This Year

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