My daughter is learning to read, and loves her Bible and the stories that we read together. She particularly loves the story of Moses’ mother saving her baby son from Pharaoh by placing him in a basket on the bank of the Nile river. She loves to hear about Miriam, the loving older sister who watches over the baby in the basket before he is found and adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:1-10).
When she learns something new in Kindergarten or at Sabbath School, she’s excited to share what she has learned with others. She’ll often end her retelling of her new knowledge with, “Did you know that?”
I am excited to open the Bible with her and read through the verses, discussing what was going on in the stories, what the events in the stories meant for the people of the time, and how the lessons learned can apply to her life today. It is refreshing to read the Bible through her eyes. Like most children, she questions everything! Small details that I may pass over without much thought grab her imagination and she demands to know more.
Sometimes I don’t have an easy or complete answer to some complex topic that we have come across. But, I tell her that we can do some research and encourage her to do it with me. On more than one occasion, I’ve found that some of the questions aren’t easily answered or easily researched.
Questions such as “Why did the Pharaoh want to kill the babies?” and “Why did they hurt Jesus like that?” are especially hard to answer. We often want to view those people who sinned, hurt other people, and crucified Jesus as “other people,” not people like us. But an important part of teaching my child about Christ is teaching her that, because of sin, we are not perfect either, but He is. We would hope that we would not have sinned and hurt Jesus as they did in the Bible, but we do it every day with our actions.
The best way that I can show my child how loving and merciful our Creator is, is to show her that I am not perfect (which she already knows) but that Jesus is perfect, and He covers my sins and forgives me because He loves me.
In explaining the stories of the Bible, from Adam and Eve all the way to Jesus, a picture of God’s loving plan of salvation emerges. If He forgives me and covers my sins with His sacrifice, He’ll do it for her!
The stories of the Bible give her a foundation that we build on in our daily lives. As a parent, I help her relate to Jesus by showing her how I talk to him, read His Word, worship Him, and heed His instruction. She, too, can have a relationship with Him, and is already loved and forgiven by Him. When I show her that I rely on Him—that I follow Him and trust Him even when the path is unclear—I’m working with Him to prepare her heart to follow Him.