One of the toughest things for some adults to understand is that problems which seem small to them can feel insurmountable to a child. Adults have learned that friend troubles pass or a bad grade on one homework assignment isn’t the end of the world. To a child, however, these are problems that can feel scary and overwhelming, causing anxiety, dread and fear to grow.
For years, kids have been told the story from the Bible of David and Goliath. Hopefully, your kids have been taught it’s an example of how, for God, even the impossible is possible. That God will be with them as they face their giants, if they will let Him. For some kids, that is what they need to know to understand how to lean on God. Others need a little more practical help applying the lessons from David and Goliath to their lives.
Louie Giglio has written a new book for eight to twelve year olds called Goliath Must Fall. Within its pages, Giglio tries to give older children some practical advice to help them apply the lessons from David and Goliath in practical ways to their lives.
Sandwiched in between introductory and closing chapters, Giglio goes into detail about several giants with whom he believes older children struggle – fear, rejection, comfort, anger and addiction. For the most part he does a better than average job of giving kids practical strategies to use. I particularly appreciate how often he encourages them to read the Bible and suggests numerous passages to them. I also appreciate that he quotes quite a few scriptures within the text, for those who may not be as inclined to actually look them up to read.
Personally, I appreciated Giglio for tackling the topics of comfort and addiction – too often ignored when teaching young people how to live a Christian life. Although the chapter on addiction deals primarily with age appropriate topics like video games, earlier in the book he mentions addictions which the eight to twelve year olds for whom the book is written are a bit too young. He also writes a bit about social media. He does add that most have parents who don’t allow them on it yet, but that he hopes to prepare them. I would have preferred that he address head on the required age limits and that cheating them to get on social media is already showing a potential to “build a giant” in that area.
My other primary criticism is his discussion of how to become a Christian. I will never understand how people supposedly so deep in Bible study will promote a man made invention within the last two hundred or so years as the way to become a Christian. Following the example of Jesus and a quick reading of Acts make it abundantly clear baptism is essential, not only for the remission of sins, but to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. To make kids believe they are saved and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit from praying a modern made up prayer is irresponsible. Thankfully, for kids who have been taught the Bible, this is about one page in the book and can be mentioned with reminders before giving the book or when discussing it.
If your child struggles with anxiety or other issues, this book might be the practical help to understand how to apply scripture to their lives that they need. It can also give you some helpful, godly hints to work with your kids to incorporate in their lives.