Have you ever wondered what happened during those 400 years between the Old and New Testament? Do you wonder why the Pharisees seem to suddenly appear out of nowhere? Did you ever want to know the rest of the story of all of those rulers named Herod? Have you ever gotten the Pharisees, Sadducees, Priests, Scribes and Zealots confused?
I have struggled for years to understand what happened in those 400 “missing” years and how the world of the Old Testament had obviously changed so much by the time Jesus was born. I have finally found a book that helps put the pieces in place.
Parents love children to come home from school and church with crafts. It gives them a tangible idea of what was discussed. The problem is that most crafts are on paper and end up in the trash. Whenever possible, it is great to send children home with a craft that not only reminds them of the lesson, but will stay around their home for months to come.
Yesterday, the children learned about some of the tools God gives them to help them live a Christian life. We discussed in particular the Fruit of the Spirit and the Armor of God. After the lesson, the children colored and stuffed pillows they could put in their bedrooms. One child was getting ready to go on a trip and was planning on taking his as his airplane pillow!
Playing Bible Trivia games with kids can seem trivial. Why do they need to know all of those random facts? What purpose can they possibly serve in the faith development of your child? Isn’t it shifting the focus onto mundane things rather than loftier concepts?
Actually, playing games with Bible trivia involved can serve multiple purposes. First, it helps children review the basic facts of various Bible stories. Yes, the lessons learned from the life of Joseph are more important than knowing his siblings’ names. When your child hears a sermon or lesson which focuses on the behavior of Judah or Rueben however, it will help him connect the ideas to real people and the basic story.
Let’s face it. Memorizing anything tends to be rather boring. All of that repeating the same thing over and over makes you wish you had a photographic memory.
Memorizing at least part of the Bible is so essential to the faith development of our children. We need to find some ways to make memorizing scripture appealing to our children. They are too young to really understand how important it is to have those verses already in your head when you need them.
One of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice. I enjoy getting lost in the story, whether it’s the book or the mandatory BBC version (Let’s be honest. Collin Firth was born to play Darcy!) I couldn’t wait to introduce my daughter to the world of Jane Austin. Even though she could have read the words at a relatively young age, I waited until she was much older to let her read it. Why? Because until then, she had not lived enough life to really understand the beauty behind the story.
Children are concrete thinkers for much of their childhood. They understand the things they can see, touch, taste, hear, smell and experience. Abstract concepts or things outside of their experience are difficult for them to comprehend. This makes teaching them the Bible a unique challenge. Oh, they can remember the details they are told. They may even have memorized what they are supposed to learn from the story. Comprehending those same ideas is almost impossible for most children. Especially with the current ways we teach children the Bible in many places.