by Brian King/ December 15, 2016
The biblical injunction states that we are to train (discipline) our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). In Hebrews 12:11, we are told that, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.” The context of the latter verse refers to a child submitting to parental authority. But as parents, it is fair to say there are times when the effort of training our children does not seem pleasant. Sometimes it seems like endless and fruitless labor. At the end of each of the verses mentioned above is an assurance that, if we persevere, there will be a positive harvest.
JBQ is not merely about competition, although that is a hook used to draw kids and their families. However, if we are trying to instill scriptural truths and principles into children, with the aim of Christlikeness, this ministry provides a unique opportunity.
With the Master Seal program, JBQ aids parents in building a firm foundation without the necessity of competitive excellence. Children can build a significant amount of Bible knowledge that will not return empty (see Isaiah 55:11). While mere information does not transform a life, we are told in Romans 10:17 that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (KJV).
There are four primary steps to the Seal program: Discoverer, Searcher, Achiever, and the Bible Master. For those who seek even greater levels of difficulty, there are options such as the Master Quoter and Bible Excellence awards. For information about how to earn these, CLICK HERE.
In our family, we pushed our children to earn their Master Seal. Some of our kids were competitive at the highest levels of JBQ, but not all of them. One of our daughters got to the point early in her last year of JBQ that she no longer wanted to do it. We agreed to let her drop out, but with the understanding that she still had to earn her Master Seal. Upon learning that we were serious, she decided to stick with JBQ.
The day after the presidential election in November, I woke to find this daughter (now 27) had posted on Facebook, “Waking up this morning and anticipating about learning who our next president would be. Before I found out, I remembered what my dad taught me in JBQ. Not just to memorize things from the Bible but to gain tools that I’d need later in life. I was reminded of this question: ‘How should we regard our school teachers, police officers, and other government officials? We should obey them because their authority comes from God.’
“I remember hearing my dad saying, ‘Sometimes we may not agree with our government officials, but you don't know God’s plan for them. We only see the now while God sees the whole picture. Sometimes they make mistakes, but they are human. Never hold someone in authority to perfect standards. Instead, pray they make the right choices.’
“Upon finding out who won the election, I was neither relieved nor upset. I was happy the election was FINALLY over, but I was also ready to pray. I've prayed for our future president, our country, and our future/present upset citizens, because no one is perfect and everyone will make mistakes.”
I was proud, to say the least, that the JBQ training had made a difference in the life of my daughter—which her Facebook statement had shown.
Over the course of quizzing for eight years, each of our children, at times, balked at studying. At times, continuing on with JBQ was even hard for my wife and me. But we stood our ground. Now we are reaping the rewards of promoting God’s Word in the lives of our children.
Our life’s experience reflects this truth: With the Master Seal program, JBQ aids parents in building a firm foundation without the necessity of competitive excellence. Children can build a significant amount of Bible knowledge that will not return empty.