“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NIrV) Children have a hard time understanding this verse for a lot of reasons. It’s a crucial verse for them to understand though, as you attempt to teach your children things that will strengthen their faith.
You see, understanding God’s word is a lamp and a light keeps them from believing what the world will teach them about scripture. To the world, God’s words are fiction or are designed to keep you from having fun.
Your children need to fully understand the exact opposite is true. God’s Words help them successfully navigate the difficulties of living in this fallen world. Those words will help your kids live the best, most fulfilling, productive life possible this side of Heaven.
So why is this a difficult verse for kids and what can you do to make it more understandable? The biggest stumbling block is that most of our kids don’t understand lamps in the times of the Bible and the utter darkness when one didn’t have a lamp. In a world saturated with light, to your children a lamp is something nice to have, but not essential.
To help them really understand this verse may take a little time and effort on your part. If you have never taken your kids to one of those subterranean caverns, they are a great place to start. I think one of the scariest things I have experienced is being lead deep into an underground cavern and then the guide turning off all of the lights – including his flashlight. The Dialog in the Dark experience gives you the same feeling at first (although I finally was able to find a pinpoint of red light in each room to keep me calm!).
That complete and utter darkness and the fear that often goes with it are what God is telling us life is like for those who don’t follow His light – His Words. Oh, they may think they are fine, but there are so many places to stumble, fall and injure yourself without benefit of a light to help show you the safer paths.
If you can’t go to a cavern, consider getting some clay and letting your kids make replicas of the clay lamps used in Bible times. You can get wicks at the craft store and can try using oil if you wish or a much, much safer option is to drop a little LED candle into the lamp. This photo shows some actual clay lamps from that time period your kids can use as models for their own.
After the lamps are completed, turn off all of the lights and make your house as dark as possible. Read some scriptures like the one in Psalms. Talk about people in the Bible who did or did not follow God’s guidance and what happened as a result. Share some Proverbs with your kids. Most importantly, share with your kids from your own life experience why and how you have found God’s Words lit your path – and that you are glad they did.
Will this family devotional take a little more time and effort than some? Absolutely, but the concept is so critical for your children to understand, I think it’s definitely worth it.