Learning about God and understanding His words sometimes means trying to understand some abstract topics. I think one of the reasons parents shy away from teaching their children more Bible at home is the fear of trying to explain concepts like eternity when we don’t totally understand them ourselves.
While I believe it is probably impossible for the human mind to totally grasp some of these concepts, there are ways to help your child begin to understand them in a simple fashion. Young children tend to think only in concrete terms. This means they can understand things better when they can use their senses to examine them. That is why for a small child “love” might mean hugs and kisses. It is also why young children often say “I hate you” when they really mean they are very angry with you. To them anger and hate look alike.
Have you ever seen one of those sitcoms when the character is trying to make a moral decision? Often he will suddenly have two figures appear on his shoulders. One is angelic in appearance, with white clothing and often wings and a halo. The other looks like we are supposed to think the devil looks, with red clothing (and a cape for some strange reason), a long red forked tail, red pointed ears and a pitchfork with prongs.
Over the years I have given in to more temptations than I would care to admit. Unfortunately, I don’t recall ever seeing this man dressed in red when faced with my choice. Maybe if I had seen him, I would have made a wiser decision. Usually Satan has disguised himself in much more creative and appealing ways.
School starts early in Georgia. Before the weather cools or the leaves begin to turn, our children are back in school. We live in a town where the parents are very involved in their children’s education. Almost all of the parents walk their children to class on the first day of school. PTA meetings are packed and home work is a high priority.
Most children in public school spend six to eight hours a day at school. We worry if they are getting taught enough to make them competitive for college admissions. We find tutors if they struggle and push them when they procrastinate. It often seems like their entire future depends on how well they do in first grade.
I love holidays. Weeks before a holiday (even the minor ones), I start planning. I am not particularly big on decorating, but I love the celebration part. Most holidays, I am in the kitchen preparing goodies for family and friends. At Christmas, I am that annoying person who has spent weeks making sure everyone has at least one handcrafted gift. I am also the one taking baked goods or candies to just about every neighbor on our street.
It is not that I necessarily want an extra long to do list several times a year. For me, holidays are a way for me to show the people I care about how much I love them. I want everyone who is special to me to feel special and to know how much they mean to me.
One of my concerns as a Bible class teacher of little ones (and as a parent) is for the children I teach to understand the Bible as history and not as fiction. Unfortunately, there are many people in the world, even some who consider themselves religious, who would argue that the stories in the Bible are fables. To counteract the influences of people in my child’s world who may try to undermine the Bible, I have done everything I could think of to reinforce the reality of the scriptures.
One of the easiest ways to help your child understand that the Bible is about real people, places and events is to continually tell them before you read or tell them a Bible story. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I even separated Bible story time from picture book reading times to create a boundary between the two types of stories.