The Challenge of Sharing the Bible With Children

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Creative Commons /

Scripture instructs us in Psalm 127:3 that Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward for Him.” As parents, it is our obligation to teach our children to follow Christ and to call Him “Lord.” This is where books geared towards children can be a vital tool in this journey. Sheila Walsh’s “The Bible is My Best Friend” initially appears to be a contender for my child. But there is a hesitation as the stories and illustrations could intimidate them.

For example, the war depicted of Gideon’s Army is accompanied with images of torches and typify destruction. The image of the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness scared me as an adult. The accounts of the flood and about mankind’s sin are too disturbing for a child. If not, the illustrations would give them nightmares. Children will take the text literally, leading them to be fearful of the Lord that is not healthy. Outside the text of the book, it was concerning on how many of the Biblical characters were not people of color since these accounts took place in the Middle East. Although they were represented in the book, I don’t want my child to presume that all people are one race. Also, I don’t believe or think that there was a hidden agenda by the author with this.

I am grateful for people like Walsh who can masterly weave Bible stories that are palatable, which is not an easy achievement. Writers like Walsh desire children to have a Biblical foundation and to be exposed to Scripture when they are young. Kids need more simplicity and need to know that God is not all about doom and gloom, but loves mankind as well. The Bible is the true account of God, but even as adults we struggle with some of its theologies. Children are not ready to be exposed to these elements at an immature age.

Special to Patheos from Corine Gatti

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