If your family is like ours, right now you’re scrambling to fill out 3,476 back-to-school forms, just as you realize that every kid’s shoes are too tight and their jeans are too short, and you need to buy $978 worth of pencils and glue sticks. In between fears that you’ll need a second mortgage to help you pay for it all, and wondering why oh why we can’t just fill out the forms online once for the whole family, you’re scratching your head and wondering what happened to summer.
But our kids need more than just glue sticks and non-holey jeans to get them prepared for the new year. Our children need confidence, peace, and a sense of God’s love and guiding hand as they start this new year in their life. Kids have so many questions and worries as school starts: Will I get the teacher I wanted? Will this year be really hard? Will my friends still be my friends?
Here are 13 Back-to-School Scriptures to help our children get spiritually prepared for school. I’m planning to read one or two of these scriptures every morning with my kids over the next few weeks. Armed with glue sticks, new jeans, and the Scriptures, our kids are sure to have a great start to the year!
When you’re afraid, or lonely, or wondering if God is with you at school
1. “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” –Proverbs 15:3
2. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9
4. “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:25–34, HCSB
5. “The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” –Psalm 121:5–8
6. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you.” –Isaiah 43:1–2, 4
Remembering to do the right thing at school
7. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” –Proverbs 1:8–10
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8. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” –Proverbs 3:1–4
9. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” –Proverbs 1:5–8
10. “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” –2 Timothy 2:22–24
How to interact with your friends
11. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” –1 Timothy 4:12
12. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” –Proverbs 15:1
13. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” –Colossians 4:5–6