By Heather Riggleman, Crosswalk.com
Every Monday morning you’ll find my youngest daughter and myself surrounded by our homeschool community co-cop. Blurry-eyed and yawning we stand, stretch, and put our hands over our hearts. First, we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, then we say the pledge to the Christian flag before we recite the pledge to the Bible. It sends tingles throughout my skin as I consider the weight of the words and how grateful I am that my daughter knows the Pledge to the Bible.
The Pledge to the Bible is an integral part of one’s commitment to Christian living because the Bible is the essential part of not only getting to know God but understanding His heart and how we should live. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Bible. Throughout the ages, God-inspired hundreds of authors to write over 66 books, over a period of 1,500 years to complete what is now the Bible.
Some call the Bible, God’s love letter to us. Others call the handbook to life because every word written applies to our lives. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 reminds us that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
We are also told the Bible is living and active. It can judge the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts as stated by Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Just from these scriptures alone, we should look at the Bible with reverence, wonder, and awe. The importance of the Bible is based on the fact that it is the revelation of God to us (John 1:1-5). It gives us the opportunity to know and understand God as the Scriptures reveal His character, His power and sovereignty, and His reason for creating us. Within His Word, we read about God’s goodness and grace, His holiness and justice, His love, mercy, and compassion.
Now that we understand the importance of the Bible, we can, in turn, understand the importance of the pledge to the Bible, where it came from, and why we should teach it to our children.
What Is the Pledge to the Bible?
The pledge to the Bible was written by a young Baptist pastor Homer Grice when he was asked to lead the Vacation Bible School movement in 1925. Just like the Bible, the pledge to the Bible was not only written by a man; God Himself authored the Pledge by guiding Home Grice into the creation of this beautiful reminder of what the Bible should mean to us.
He took the words from Psalm 119:105 and 119:11. The pledge states: I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's holy word, I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path and will hide its words in my heart so I might not sin against God.
What Does it Mean to Pledge Our Allegiance to the Lord?
Now you may be wondering what it means to pledge our allegiance to the Lord. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the Pledge of Allegiance as: a formal promise of loyalty to the United States that groups of people say together. To pledge allegiance in the context of stating the pledge to a national flag simply means “loyalty as a citizen.” To pledge allegiance to a country like the United States means we subject ourselves to the country’s rules and promise to abide by its laws. We promise to fiercely defend and loyally “love” and honor the country. Because most countries have flags that represent and symbolize the nation, citizens pledge allegiance to the flag.
Homer Grice realized that not only are we citizens of the country we are born into, but also when we accept Christ, we are born into God’s Kingdom. We become heirs to God’s throne. That being said, being a citizen in Christ’s Kingdom means we loyally follow, obey, and uphold the Word of God. Now that we understand the active nature of making a pledge and what it means—when we pledge allegiance to God we are pledging our allegiance, our devotion, our loyalty, our heart, and lives to the Lord. We are committing ourselves to God’s rule and authority.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/nicolesy
Why Is the Pledge to the Bible Important to Teach?
We teach our children from the time they are toddlers how to put their hands over their hearts and say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. The same ought to be taught about pledging our lives to the Lord and the Bible.
This world is temporary. It’s training grounds to combat temptations, strike down giants, grow our faith to move mountains, trust in the Lord, love our neighbors, and love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. God’s Word teaches that our job is to learn to allow God to mold and shape our hearts and lives so that we reflect Christ because we are destined to be citizens of heaven one day. Learning the Pledge to the Bible helps our children set their sets on God. So, when children pledge their allegiance to the Bible, they are committing themselves to its teaching and its authority.
The Pledge plants seeds in their hearts that will grow and flourish as they continue to grow and mature in their faith. What seeds? They are learning timeless truths such as:
Make it a lamp unto my feet
Hide its words in my heart
That I may not sin against God.
The Bible is God’s Holy Word.
The Bible is a lamp for their feet and a light for their path.
God’s words can and will keep them from sinning against Him.
It’s important, if not vital, to teach our children the pledge to the Bible because our deepest desire as parents is to raise children who love God, who fear God, and recognize that they need God’s help to live a life that reflects and glorifies Him. To teach them at a young age to trust in God’s promises will help them learn to love and follow God to the best of their human ability. Just like we cherish what it means to be an American citizen, we want them to cherish being a child of God and a citizen of His kingdom. We want our children to be proud to be Christian warriors. We want them to cherish and honor God’s Word. We want them to be able to put on God’s armor and wield accordingly in every battle. We want our children to keep their eyes on Christ no matter the battle they face. We want them to honor and revere the Lord.
This means we teach them to pledge allegiance to the Lord, the Bible, and the Christian flag. We want them to grow up recognizing that God’s word, hidden in their heart, can transform and renew them to be people who say no to sin and yes to His righteousness. So what do you think? Do you see the pledge to the Bible as a helpful resource to help your children grow in understanding of God and the Bible?
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Anastasiia Stiahailo
Heather Riggleman is a believer, wife, mom, author, social media consultant, and full-time writer. She lives in Minden, Nebraska with her kids, high school sweetheart, and three cats who are her entourage around the homestead. She is a former award-winning journalist with over 2,000 articles published. She is full of grace and grit, raw honesty, and truly believes tacos can solve just about any situation. You can find her on GodUpdates, iBelieve, Crosswalk, Hello Darling, Focus On The Family, and in Brio Magazine. Connect with her at www.HeatherRiggleman.com or on Facebook.