You know what’s easy for a child? A child has more understanding of God’s love and understanding than we do. They don’t need to see nails or crowns of thorns to believe. All they need is a story. All they need is something simple. All they need is for you to read to them and tell them about God. I read two books to mine recently and we talked about a few things but what I really love is just how easily they believe! They can hear a story like Noah and the Mighty Ark or One Lost Sheep, both children’s books by Rhonda Glowler Greene and believe them. They just believe. Rhonda uses phrases like “God’s rainbow promise filled the sky” and “The Lord God is our shepherd too, watching over… me and you” illustrating that God’s love is easy to see and trust. Her words romanticize the bible teachings we’ve heard all our life, but in a way that feeds children’s minds. My husband and I used to read the Bible to our kids every night. We had a Bible that was written in rhyme and was for them as they were babies and toddlers. Cute little poems made our kids know Jesus at a very early age and that’s what Noah and the Might Ark and One Lost Sheep both do as well. Each book is written in Rhyme like a very long poem and the pictures in the book are playful and adventurous. The parable of One Lost Sheep is from Luke 15:3-4.
Then Jesus told them this parable: Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
The same thing is Jesus’ love for us. He wants all of His lost children to come home and to know Him. To us, it’s a story about God looking for us even though we don’t deserve it. Honestly as an adult I think, Just cut your loss you still have 99. But that’s not God’s love. To a child it’s a story about a shepherd taking care of his flock. He’s having fun caring for them and loves all of them equally counting to 100. Then without question he goes off to find his lost sheep. And then the story ends with the words I mentioned above, “God is our Shepherd”. And suddenly, of course to a child God loves us just like that. No questions asked. In Noah and the Mighty Ark no one gets left behind. The story references the Bible verse Genesis 6:14-19;
God said to Noah… “Make yourself and ark out of cypress wood… Bring two of every living thing into the ark.”
I always looked at this as a story of destruction and that God promised never to destroy the world with a flood again and we are reminded every time we see the rainbow.
To children this is a story of being saved.
Noah was told to save every single animal “two by two” and Rhonda’s books illustrated that naming those that crept or crawled or hopped or flew. My kids LOVE this story, I think it’s one of their favorites in the Bible. And it makes rainbows so special to them.
Teaching children Bible stories is so easy. Just spend time with them reading books like these two and tuck them in every night with a hug and a kiss. Why can’t it be that easy for us?
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How do you engage in teaching Bible stories to children? What are their favorite stories? Leave a comment on the blog! We’d love to hear from you!