“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15 (NIV)
When I was thinking about what to write for letter P, this word and verse came to mind. That could be because of the Bible study that our family is participating in. It could be due to the fact that this is one of the major goals of educating our children. It could be that God placed that thought in my head. Whatever the reason, I wanted to chat a bit about preparing.
We prepare for many things in life – storm season, trips, chores (yes – don’t you buy the things you will need to do this?). But sometimes, we neglect the most important form of preparation – that of being able to speak of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus, what He has done for us, and that He wants everyone to accept His gift and to obey His word.
How do we prepare to do as Peter wrote about?
First, we need to know God’s Word. We need to study His word and all that He put there, not just the interesting stories that we enjoy teaching to little ones. We need to know more; there is always more to learn! One wise woman commented at Bible study tonight that she makes it a point to share that she is always learning, even after 40 years of being a baptized follower of Christ. We need to set aside and honor time to learn what God has to say. Don’t just schedule it in; make it a priority. That is part of being prepared.
Second, we need to be able to articulate that hope – put it to words. This is probably where I struggle most. I know what I believe and why I believe it. I know what obedience to God’s word means but am I capable of stating that to others? And what about the last part of the verse – “with gentleness and respect”? Can I do this?
Third, I need to recognize that if I have worked diligently with the first two points that it doesn’t make a whit of difference if I don’t step out boldly and actually use the words about that hope to share with someone who is lost. If I am not sharing that hope that I have prepared to share about, I am not obeying the word of God. He is telling me to share it.
As part of a course I am taking (Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity – review coming soon), she asked us to write out 10 goals for our children when they exit our education. Being prepared to speak boldly about their hope is one of ours. So, I need to be working on helping them prepare. I will end this by sharing some of the things we are doing to help the girls be prepared.
- Regular attendance at all worship and Bible classes – Sunday morning we attend both Bible class and worship; Sunday evening we attend worship; Wednesday evening we attend worship and class; Tuesday mornings the girls go with me to Ladies’ Bible Class; Monday nights we are doing an in-home Bible study;
- Daily personal Bible study – As part of their course work, we ask the girls to study the Bible personally. This takes a couple of different forms but this is a daily expectation.
- Memory work – The girls are working on KidSing memory cards. These cards focus on different parts of the Bible and the themes for those parts of the Bible.
- Bible Bowl – We have the girls participating in Bible Bowl through the Lads to Leaders program at our church. In the past, they have studied Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Matthew, Job, Esther, and Ruth. This year they will be studying I & II Corinthians. This is an in-depth study of the books and they learn a lot about God, who He is, and what He wants of His people through this.
- Other – Whether it be writing an article, giving a speech, reading the Bible out loud for an audience, leading a song, doing a puppet program, or making a meal for someone, we encourage the girls to serve and find ways to use the abilities God has given them to put action to their belief and faith.
All of these are ways that we can work on being prepared to give reason to our hope. Encouraging the girls to be prepared, I also find myself more prepared. Are you “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have “? (I Peter 3:15 NIV)