sharing your faith with your kids.

i'm considering singlehandedly adding the word 'knave' back into everyday english.  don't thank me, thank penelope, who has been doing so already.  she picked it up in the book, dangerous journey, an adaptation of 'the pilgrim's progress' for children.  it got me thinking about some of the resources we've found outstandingly helpful in trying to lead our kids in faith, so i figured i'd share.

the jesus storybook bible: both we and the kids love this!

first, it is biblically accurate (none of this 'jonah lived happily ever after!' garbage). 

second, it pulls the overarching theme of the entire bible together in such a beautiful way:  god has, from the beginning, intended to show us the full extent of his love by sending his son to save us.  it shows the reader how individual stories in the bible all pull together under this theme. 

third, the illustrations are not insipid, which is apparently a lot to ask from a children's bible.

dangerous journey: our friend paul used to read this to his kids, and started reading it to our kids when we lived with them this summer.  the story of pilgrim's progress (between this book and the following movie on this list) has given us more opportunities to share the gospel with our kids than any other resource.  atticus gave his life to jesus in november, as he came to understand the weight of his sin and the forgiveness of christ, as illustrated in this story.  so good.

pilgrim's progress:  free, semi-horrible-CGI youtube movie.  the kids love it.

the jesus movie:  same description as above.  super biblically accurate.  (which seems ridiculous to have to specify, but there you have it.)

give them grace: dazzling your kids with the love of jesus:  this book completely changed the way i parent on a day-to-day basis.  it even grew my own understanding of the gospel and how it applies to all areas of life.  if you look into only one of the resources on this list, make this it.  it's that good.

shepherding a child's heart:  extremely practical guide to getting past your kids' behavior to their  hearts and allowing god to help you correct sin and rebellion at the heart level.  we want kids who are motivated to live and love because of the gospel, not just kids who behave well.  there's a big difference.

my first book of questions (and the rest in this series): using a catechism with kids is a great way to teach kids WHAT we believe.  i think too many people assume that these things will get transmitted somewhere along the line, but often what we're left with are kids who have an inaccurate, misguided or incomplete understanding of the gospel, OR kids who walk away from the faith because they were given a warped or anemic picture of god.  start with this, and from there you can talk to your kids about why you believe what you believe.

in summary, i just think that intentionality is what counts.  thinking of ways to intentionally open up conversations about jesus and his work on the cross.  these conversations don't usually 'just happen,' or at least they don't happen as often as they could.  and it isn't a matter of just taking our kids to sunday school or church, or allowing them to see us reading our bible.  just like manners, or butt wiping, or folding laundry are all areas in which our kids need direct, intentional, and seemingly constant training, how much more seriously should we take the opportunity and privilege to share jesus with our littlest neighbors?


todd said...

There are probably few areas that require as much discernment and careful attention than the resources available to teach and train children in the ways of the Lord.

There is no lack of shallow, limp, moralistic heretical material out there aimed at children.

Do not assume every kid’s Bible is great because it’s a Bible. Don’t assume every kid’s show is good because it was made for kids.

PLEASE put in the effort to watch/read through the materials you put in front of your kids and don’t be shy about jettisoning overboard the stuff that falls short.

The Pilgrim’s Progress movie is not an artistic achievement by any means and the performance is flat, but the story line is solid and the dialogue is good. The teachable moments are obvious and are a great assistance to any parent who might struggle to figure out how to transform daily life into instruction in godliness.

Dangerous Journey, as you already mentioned, is likely the best interactive tool for shaping young minds I’ve discovered to date. I adore this book. I love that kids and I have read this like 4-5 times since Christmas and they still ask to read it at night. These truths are profound and deep and the principles behind the adventures Christian endures are ones I desire to have embedded firmly into the hearts and minds of my kids.

the jersk. said...

do do da do... don't mind me just buying all of these...

Becca said...

Hi Paige. My name is Becca. I heard about your blog from Heather. I also went to high school with Todd. I love your blog, and have enjoyed getting a peak into your life with your beautiful little family. We also love many of the books you mentioned in this post. I have never heard of the Dangerous Journey, but it's already in my Amazon shopping cart. Thanks for the suggestion! If your kids love Dangerous Journey you will have to invest in Little Pilgrims Progress soon. Our kids love Little Pilgrims Progress. We did it as a read aloud when our kids were a little younger, but now our older kids have each read it more than once on their own. When we did it as a read aloud, our littlest kids didn't always follow along, so I am excited about The Dangerous Journey as it looks to be a more more age appropriate version for them. I can't wait to find it on my doorstep. Thanks again for the suggestion!