by Jennifer Duncan
My preschool sons were huge Superhero fans! They rushed home from kindergarten every day to change into the Batman and Superman costumes Grandmother made them, just in time to watch Superhero cartoons, lying on their Superhero pillowcases.
One day they had a question for me, “Can’t Superman come to our house some day?” Sadly, I had to break the news to them that this was not going to happen.
“You see, boys, the people on TV are not ‘real,’” I explained.
“But what about the newsmen and the President?” Jay asked.
I stammered a bit, “Well…yes…so okay…some people on TV are real…and some are not. Some of the stories have really happened, and some are make-believe.”
I realized that a BIG part of my job as a parent was to teach them what is REAL, and what is not!
Foundational to their understanding of the truth of what is real, is a firm understanding of God. God’s very nature is rooted in truth. His Word tells the true story of the world, how it originated and why it’s in turmoil today. It outlines God’s boundaries for human behavior and gives reassurances that these are for our good.
Children need firm teaching about the unconditional love of God and the wisdom of His way. For the rest of their lives, their emotional well-being will depend upon how well they can sort out God’s truths from the lies satan will drop into their minds to confuse them!
So above all, we must teach them God’s Word is REAL. If children grasp that God really did create the world, and send a great flood, and part the Red Sea, and send a Savior…then they are more likely to hold firm to the finer points of obedience to God, when they are older. Establish the foundational truth of scripture, while they are still young.
A good place to begin is by regularly reading Bible story books aloud to your children. There are many Bible story books that are beautiful and engaging. Three highly recommended ones are:
- The Story Children’s Bible (NIrVersion), by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee
- the One Year Children’s Bible, by Rhona Davies
- 365 Read-Aloud Bedtime Bible Stories, by David Partner.
All of these present the truth of Bible events, in the historical order that they occurred. It is important to choose a collection that arranges Bible stories chronologically, not jumping around randomly between Old Testament and New Testament events. This gives the child a clear vision of how God worked in the world from creation to Christ.
While they are young, establish a habit of sharing with your children the truth of God’s Word, and help them understand that Bible stories are real, while many of their other story books are pretend. Don’t let them confuse Superman and Batman with the true superheroes of the Bible, who walked in righteousness and demonstrated the power of the Living God.
“Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Jennifer is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is mom to two grown (twin) sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and four granddaughters. Her late husband, John, pastored two churches in Barry County, Missouri, and one in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Jennifer serves in teaching, music and lay counseling through her church, Arnhart Baptist Church, Purdy, Missouri. She also enjoys leading retreats and Bible studies for women.