This is the third draft of this post.
I’m having a hard time writing what I really mean.
It all started because I bought a Bible storybook on Amazon and when I read the “Letter to Parents” inside the book it said something about a certain type of theology. Well, this made my ears perk up and I started skimming through the book to see why they even had to mention what theological camp they were coming from.
I got to one specific story and had to read it out loud to my husband because I wasn’t sure I agreed with it. After reading it aloud, I was sure. They were certainly in a specific theological camp–one that I’m not in!
This isn’t a theology that’s sending people to hell or anything totally creepy. But the way this book so desperately wanted to get this message across (and the way they were explaining it to kids) made me feel weird. I had to close the book and am going to pass it along to the thrift store. It’s not one I want to read with my kids.
What’s the big deal?
I mean, it’s the Bible, right? It’s a kids’ book! How off-base could it possibly be?
Well. Not much. I could gloss over the story. I could skip it, even. There are probably several other stories in the Bible that I would love.
But I’m the gate-keeper to my children’s hearts and minds right now. Just as I don’t allow them to watch certain television shows or play games on my phone six hours a day, I want to control…or at least filter what comes into their hearts about God.
I’ve told you how much I love What’s in the Bible? several times. Well, as much as I love it, I have introduced it to my children as they are older. Why? Because there are conversations and thoughts I don’t want my kids to have yet. I don’t want my kids to know that there are people who argue about literal days of creation. I just want them to know God created the world.
Now that Lydia is 7 and in 2nd grade, we have conversations about “what happened to the dinosaurs”, “where did the people who didn’t make it on the ark go” and other church-theological questions. But I want to be the one to introduce those themes to her!
So, when I find a Bible based book, I have to check it first. Not because I think them reading a book that’s different theology than my own is equal to watching PG-13 movies or listening to foul music. Rather, I recognize that my kids’ hearts are malleable now. I know my children’s view of God, the Bible and church is being formed now. I don’t want to confuse or muddy that understanding.
I say all this to say: I’m doing my best to bring you good books in this series. I want to do the legwork for you. That’s part of my “job” on this blog. I want to take the stress off your shoulders of “how” to teach your kids about the Lord. I want to put tools at your fingertips so you can do the important stuff of actually leading your kids to Jesus. And if you’ve been around me and my blog for awhile, track with me and semi-respect my opinion, then you’ll probably love every book I post. But I want you to recognize that it’s not me (clearly, I don’t think you all think that highly of me!), your pastor, your kids’ Sunday School teacher or Small Group Leader or Children’s Pastor or even some book or movie is going to lead your kids to the Lord.
That is your job.
God gave you the honor and privilege of introducing your kids to the Him. Take everything I say and recommend with a grain of salt. Recognize author bias and human error in books and teaching. Let the Lord lead you as a parent for the hearts of your kids.
My favorite verse about raising godly kids is of course, Deuteronomy 6:6-9, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Bible based books, Bible storybooks are tools to help you impress God’s Word on your kids’ heart. God thinks you can do it. So, do I!
ps: I know, I’m a few days behind on my 31 Days…but they are coming, I promise! (Did I mention we had lice and fevers around here? And that my car died and my dishwasher broke? And I’m leaving for Allume on Thursday?! YIKES.)