How many Bible stories have your children heard? If they are like most regular church attendees, they probably hear between 20 and 30 Bible stories during their childhood. If you don’t have regular family devotionals, they may never hear many more than that. When we started Teach One Reach One (our parent ministry), we counted the Bible stories we thought were appropriate for children (we skipped a couple involving rapes) and came up with 207. Now one could probably group them differently and come up with a slightly changed number, but you see the gap.
We don’t talk about it much as Christians, but God gave us all of those stories for a reason. A lot of other things probably happened during those time periods. In fact, John admits there were so many things that happened during the ministry of Jesus, he didn’t include them all because the world couldn’t hold that many books! So, the question becomes, why did God choose to inspire the writers of the Bible to record those specific stories and insure they were passed down, some of them for thousands of years to us?
I believe it is because many of those stories have a lot to teach us about the nature of God. They teach us about the things He wants for us and from us. They help us understand His commands and principles and the importance of obeying all of them. They demonstrate His love for us. They make it easier for us to remember what we need to do in any given situation.
Stories are easier to remember than random facts or lists of rules. Unless your children have been asked to memorize them, they can probably tell you lots of details about the story of Noah, but struggle with listing every one of just the Ten Commandments. If your children are familiar with a lot of Bible stories, it becomes an extra layer of protection against the tricks of Satan for them. When your children get into a situation requiring a choice, they may find it reminds them of a Bible story they have heard many times. “Wait,” they may think. “We remember what happened to Ananias when he lied to the Apostles. God struck him dead for lying. Maybe we better tell the truth.”
The key though is that your children need to hear all of those 200 plus stories a lot. They need to be as familiar with them as they are with the latest Disney classic cartoon. They should be singing songs written from scriptures as easily as they can the songs from Frozen. If they don’t know those stories well, they are going to struggle living a Christian life. They will be at the mercy of every false teacher and attack from Satan. Yes, they can look them up, but if they haven’t been taught to love and value the stories in the Bible, they probably won’t bother. If they don’t know how to seek lessons from God in those stories, they won’t know how to use them to help make godly choices. Sadly, if they aren’t very familiar with those stories, they won’t even really know and appreciate who God even is.
There are lots of fun and interesting ways to expose your children to the stories in the Bible. Don’t rely on movies, that often add and destort details. Most of those stories have enough excitement as written to keep your children fascinated. (Make sure to read them from the NIrV version, so they can understand the language better.) Find ways to constantly expose your kids to all of those 200 plus stories in the Bible. It is a great way to help them build a stronger faith foundation in their lives.