Balancing the Sword - A comprehensive study guide to life's manual
Perfect to frame the discussions of your family worship or a church-wide study.


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Suggestions for Families

The first and foremost place for the Scripture to be taught and the faith to be received is in the Christian home.  There is no greater forum for the use of Balancing the Sword than as a tool for fathers and mothers to lead in family worship.  Adolescents are sliding further into more extreme forms of sin than any previous generation in U.S. history.  If our eyes remain closed to the long-term impact of individual families crumbling all around us, forty years from now Christianity in this country will look radically different than what we see today.  Let us consider Europe.  Let us respond with wisdom and righteousness by diligently teaching our own children the Christian message and life.

Remember that a study time with the family does not have to be perfect to receive an A+ in God's books.  By perusing the BTS books, it is probably obvious that I'm a person given to detail.  However, we must remember that God grades the heart of the teacher and the student more than the perfect delivery or attainment of biblical details.

Please also see Study Techniques.

Audio:  The Foundation of All Learning -  Allen B Wolfe set forth the necessity of having God as the foundation of all that can be learned.  This presentation was given at the FPEA convention in Kissimmee, Florida on 05/26/2006.

"We have been enjoying our Balancing the Sword Volume 1 during breakfast time.  I have four children 12, 8, 6, and 4 years old.  While I read the older 3 kids follow along in their Bibles and my youngest looks at his picture Bible at around the same story area.  After reading the chapter aloud I ask the 1st question to the 4 year-old first and then if he can't remember the answer it gets passed to the next oldest.  If he answers correctly then the next question goes to the next oldest.  They love helping each other out with clues.  It was my intention to only cover one chapter a day but they always ask for more!!!"
Escondido, CA

Here is a great suggestion for family legacy from Kerri in Graham, TX.

"We really like the books and hope soon to be able to order a set for several of our children (ages 10-16) so they can have their own set."
Waco, TX

Allen's Response:  "I've had other parents write with the same idea of purchasing a set for each child.  If your plan comes to fruition, I would suggest that your children consider writing the date beside each chapter upon the day of completing that chapter.  Each book will take a year or two to finish.  The dates will serve as a journal of their efforts, prayers, and insights.  In the years to come, your children will have a memorial of their noble achievement."

Kerri Shared Her Idea: "I also wanted to share something my father-in-law is doing for each of his grandchildren.  Perhaps you can share this with others.  Every year he purchases a new Bible and reads it from cover to cover, marking meaningful passages and making notes in the margin.  He then gives it to one of his grandchildren (usually at graduation).  I know my brother-in-law and husband are planning on taking the same Bibles and reading them completely through before they are given to their children.  What a precious gift!  To have a Bible your grandfather and father have read through, making notes with you in mind."

Here are discussion format suggestions from Mrs. M. on the island of Bermuda (i.e., the northeast corner of the Bermuda Triangle).

"Thank you for this wonderful study! Our family has been studying the book of Matthew first and we are really enjoying this format for our evening family devotions. We pray, read the passage, answer the questions together, then we add some information to the margins: 1-promises in the text, 2-commands in the text, 3-good character demonstrated in the text, 4-sins listed in the text and 5-we each choose ONE lesson taught in the text (either from the promises, commands, good character, or sins) to apply to our lives in a deliberate way over the next little while. We conclude with prayer again. The 'Application' segment of the study has been marvelous and has helped with character development and moral education more than anything else we have ever used. Thank you for this book, and for your helpfulness in trying to get it to us in Bermuda."

PARENTS:  Here are verses which speak of parents teaching their children.  When a passage is gender specific, the responsibility is given to fathers.

Ge. 18:19 - Abraham
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

Ex. 12:26-27 - the Passover Ceremony
[W]hen your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD's passover. . . .

Ex. 13:14 - Sanctification of the Firstborn Male Animals to God
[W]hen thy son asketh thee . . ., What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:

Dt. 4:9-10 - Men of Israel
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, . . . teach them [i.e., the commandments] thy sons, and thy sons' sons; Specially the day . . . in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, . . . that they may teach their children.

Dt. 6:6-7 (Also, Dt. 11:18-19) - Men of Israel
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them 
(1) when thou sittest in thine house, and 
(2) when thou walkest by the way, and 
(3) when thou liest down, and 
(4) when thou risest up.

Dt. 6:20-21
And when thy son asketh . . ., What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you? Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt. . . .

Dt. 31:19, 21
19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. 21 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed:

Jos. 4:6-7 (Also, Jos. 4:21-22) - Stones on Jordan’s Bank
That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were. . . .

Ps. 78:2-7
I will utter dark sayings of old:  Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.  We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.  For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:  That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:  That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

Ps. 145:4
One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

Pr. 1:8
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

Pr. 2:1-2
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Pr. 3:1
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

Pr. 4:1-4
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father's son, . . . . He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Pr. 4:5
Get wisdom, get understanding:  forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Pr. 4:10-11
Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

Pr. 4:20
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Pr. 5:1-2
My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

Pr. 7:1-3
My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.  Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Pr. 7:24
Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

Pr. 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Pr. 23:19
Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

Pr. 23:26
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Isa. 38:19
[T]he father to the children shall make known thy truth.

Joel 1:3 - Four Generations
Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.

Eph. 6:4
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

1Th. 2:11
As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

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Balancing the Sword is a structured study guide for every chapter of the Bible.