Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2.15

My students seem to be struggling with their reading and comprehension. This is a real problem since their spiritual growth depends upon their ability to thoughtfully read the Bible. Every day in class my students read and write, and I teach Bible. I believe it is my responsibility to teach my students to read, thoughtfully write, and think. I believe it is the responsibility of every teacher to help their students read, thoughtfully write, and think.

Lately my students have done poorly on their review questions. They have been in a Christian school so long that they think they know the correct answers without carefully reading the textbook. Since they hear many of the same stories year after year, they think that they have all the correct answers in their head. And they answer the questions, trusting their memories rather than the textbook. But the correct answers are found in the textbook and not in their brain. Every question at the end of the chapter is written in a way that requires a specific answer from the chapter reading. I now realize that my students are breezing through the reading and guessing at the answers. I have taken the time to emphasize the importance of carefully reading the chapter and the review questions. It is clear that I will need to remind them.

They say that repetition is the best form of instruction. It may be necessary for us as teachers to biblically integrate our instruction concerning study habits, comprehension, and thinking. As we encourage our students to think we are discipling them. What they learn from us will overlap their own personal Bible study. Many times I have taught my students how to carefully read the Scriptures, but they often need to be reminded. It takes them time to understand the methods that I share with them.

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3.15-17

If our students grow up to become adults who cannot thoughtfully read the Scriptures they will struggle in their walk with Christ. Regardless of the subject, each teacher can encourage their students in this way. In math class the students need to understand concepts, directions, and rules. Most of the subjects include review questions at the end of each chapter. English and Literature may include reading texts or stories that require a little extra thinking and concentration. You can see, we must disciple our students so that they can know how to read the Scriptures effectively. Our students get plenty of practice as they search for answers to review questions, prepare for essay questions, and write research papers. We know that simply reading and hearing the Scriptures has little (if any) spiritual value. Thoughtful comprehension, understanding, and application of what we have learned from the Scriptures will furnish us and grow us into mature Christians.

Parents please encourage your children to spend more time reading and writing. For two years I have offered my students extra credit if they would fast from their devices, television, video games, and movies. No one has ever earned extra credit. I find this problematic and alarming. We must encourage our students to manage their time. Discipling our students in this manner may require some of us to spend less time on our phones, social networks, and entertainment; a sacrifice that we should be willing to make if we want to disciple our students. I propose that biblical integration without discipleship may lead to ineffective instruction.

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