How can a father make Scripture a priority in his home?
A father who makes the Word of God a true priority in his life and his family establishes a foundation for success in his home. God instructed the Israelites’ leader Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
A Wisdom Search is a time when your family gathers together for worship, studying Scripture, prayer, and fellowship. Taking time for these activities can revolutionize your relationships in the family—especially the relationship between a husband and wife. Many families testify that this time together builds a deep foundation for fellowship and support for the years ahead, and it brings stability as the truths of God’s Word are studied and honored together.
See God’s Word as the final authority on any subject.
- The principles of Scripture should govern all that you do. The Word of God is inexhaustible, and it offers practical direction for every situation and circumstance of life. “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” (II Timothy 3:17).
- God has structured His Word in such a way that when you face a problem and search the Scriptures for the answers as for hidden treasure, you will find wisdom. “Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:3–5).
Reveal your convictions.
- When your children see that you are excited about God’s Word, they will gain an unshakable confidence in its importance as the foundation for their lives.
- When a wife sees her husband take spiritual leadership in the family, her greatest need is fulfilled.
- Beginning each day with God’s Word indicates that Scripture is not simply added as “one more thing to do,” but it is the center around which the day is structured.
- Build other activities around your Wisdom Search. Follow up on questions or ideas that arise during your time together.
- If there is time for breakfast but not for Wisdom Search, which activity is your true priority? Scripture instructs us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
- Remember that the key to rising early is going to bed early.
Build character and maturity.
- The Wisdom Search schedule may need to vary in order to accommodate work schedules, vacations, sickness, etc.
- Expect spiritual warfare. God wants the family unified; the enemy wants the family fragmented. Endure the disruptions and keep on making time for worship as a family.
- The application of Scripture builds discernment. “But strong meat belongeth to them that are full of age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
- One of the greatest challenges to a meaningful Wisdom Search is the interruption of telephone calls. During times when you are studying together, use an answering machine or have a plan for handling the calls.
- Creative projects for young children, such as coloring, drawing theme pictures, or playing quietly, allow them to gather with you and prepare them to participate more fully as they grow older.
- If you are reading for an extended period of time, consider allowing your older children to also work on creative projects as they listen.
Prepare the family to see all of life from God’s perspective.
- Establish a plan for reading and studying Scripture. Consider reading through Psalms and Proverbs regularly. The psalmists poured out their hearts to the Lord, and through their example we can learn to turn to the Lord in any circumstance. The Book of Proverbs gives direction for relating to others and shows cause-and-effect sequences.
- Bringing your needs to God in the morning and thanking Him for His aid in the evening is a good way to keep your entire family aware of His daily involvement in your lives.
- A Wisdom Search can include specific topics, such as these:
- Personal testimonies
- Biblical principles
- Character qualities
- Current events
Show that you care about each one’s needs.
- Ask each family member to share current struggles or questions so that you can search for truths that apply as you read together.
- Look for applications that relate to your current circumstances, studies, or character-development needs.
- Through Wisdom Searches, you can discuss and strengthen the convictions and standards your family holds. Ask your children, “What is God teaching you that you can apply and uphold in your own family someday?”
Show that you value each person’s opinion.
- Have each family member read a portion of Scripture aloud. Let beginning readers feel a part of things by helping them learn to read difficult words.
- Ask each one, “What stood out to you, and why?”
- Give continual encouragement.
- Take time to discuss what is discovered in God’s Word.
Bathe your family in prayer.
- Name prayer requests for the day, and ask each member to pray.
- You might want to use a journal to record your daily requests and the ways that God answered your prayers as a reminder of how God worked in your lives.
This material was adapted from the 2006 edition of the ATI Handbook, pages 34–35.