The Jesus-Centered Home #3: Books That Teach

We have had Christian storybooks and children's Bibles on our shelves and in our toybox no matter where we have lived. This is an easy way to "build in" biblical awareness into your children's lives.

Half Price Books often has anywhere from 5-50 Bible storybooks at any given time that are on their clearance racks, so you can even do this quite cheaply. If you get books on clearance and at garage sales, you can build up quite a library of admirable Bible heroes for your children to look up to without spending a fortune. That way, when you have reading time with the kids, it won't be only for reading-readiness or for bonding, but it will also be building the Bible into their character while they are young.

There is nothing wrong with reading good literature, folk tales, and poetry to our children (in fact, these things are very important!), but we need to also ensure that we are giving them a good understanding of the Bible as well.

I try to be intentional about sharing "the whole story" with the kids as soon as possible. It is amazing the conversations you can have when you decide to give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to kids. They don't just need to hear that Noah got on the boat and got a rainbow at the end. But they need to know that the
reason he was chosen was because out of ALL the men and women on the earth, he alone was found faithful to God. They need to understand how wicked we humans are, and that our wickedness merits death. What an excellent opportunity the story of Noah gives us to do that very thing. But all too often, parents and Sunday school teachers are focused on coloring the rainbow.

Our kids know us. We need to be careful that there is a difference
that is evident to them that we don't view the Bible in the same way that we view the other children's storybooks we pick up. They need to hear that these stories are true. These stories really happened. This story about the talking rabbit is pretend and just fun to read, but this story about the talking donkey really happened. They need to understand the difference between the everlasting word of God and kids' storybooks. Even if we're reading C.S. Lewis or other excellent literary works, we need to make it clear that some things are real and some things aren't.

Let's select and read books that teach our children the most important truths they'll ever learn. Let's make sure they know how much we treasure being able to teach them about Jesus and the other stories of the Bible. In these ways, we can build a love for God and His stories into their lives.


the blackwells said...

We just finished reading through the Beginner's Story Bible. The look on Silas' face when we read the story of Paul and SILAS was priceless...

Carody said...

Thank you for this post!! I've been thinking about adding more biblical books and a Bible to our boys' reading material, and this is the kick I needed. I'll be going to Goodwill tonight. :)

magda said...

this is so true, about needing to share the WHOLE story. this is why i fell away from the church for many years, because i couldn't reconcile the happy and fun sunday school stories with all the harsher truths found in the Bible. it's just like you said in that incredible "lite beer" post a ways back