I had a lot of fun this summer leading a Bible study for a group of teen girls. At the end of the summer, I asked what they wanted to study next. Their answer surprised me. They wanted to learn the “rest of the Bible stories”.
I realized after talking with them for a few minutes that we are missing a big part of spiritual training with our children. Parents who are trying to raise their children in a Bible based environment usually make sure their children learn all of the basic Bible stories. Our children are familiar with Adam, Noah, Moses and the major stories of the Bible. When they reach the older years though, they usually start more topical studies which may or may not involve Bible stories. But what about “the rest of the story”.
There are a lot of Bible stories that we leave out a part of or gloss over quickly because they are too “mature” for children. Yet those same stories have great lessons for teens. Did you leave out the part of the story about Noah getting drunk? It’s a great example of how “good” people can make very bad choices when alcohol is involved. Did you gloss over the story of Joseph when it got to the part of Potiphar’s wife? The story teaches a great way to avoid sexual temptation and can open the door to a discussion on purity and tactics for staying pure. You may need to take a look back yourself and see what additional lessons are in those basic stories that your children haven’t heard yet.
The Bible is also full of little one and two verse stories which are just fascinating. The prayer of Jabez is a great example. Someone wrote an entire series of books on just those few verses, but there are many other stories that are just as interesting. You and your child will probably never hear most of these in a class or from the pulpit. Now I am not saying that it is always easy to figure out why God put some of these stories in the Bible or what we are supposed to learn from them. Is the story in 2 Kings 2:23-24 a lesson on bullying? Or is it just something interesting in Elisha’s life? Why does God think it is important in Genesis 4:21 to let us know that a descendent of Cain was the father of all who play the flute and harp? Was it to remind us that civilization was more advanced in the beginning than evolutionists would want us to believe? Why does God tell us in 2 Kings 13:20-21 about someone being brought back to life by merely accidentally being thrown by raiders against Elisha’s bones in his tomb? Probably just to remind us of God’s amazing power, but could it be that God protects us from evil?
Whether or not you are able to solve the mysteries of these very short stories in the Bible, you may see something amazing happen in your child. Hopefully, your child will discover a love of reading the Bible. What can be more exciting than the fact that the most wonderful stories ever told were true stories? Perhaps only the fact that by learning these stories and more of God’s words and obeying them, your child will spend eternity in heaven.
So take some time this week and share the “rest of the story” with your older children. You may find a few new jewels of wisdom that are new to you too! Feel free to share your favorites. I may still be missing a few myself.