by Liz Alexander, Minister to Preschool & Children
With Christmas quickly approaching, it can be easy for our kids to simply hear the story of Jesus' birth and add it to their list of Bible stories that they've heard over and over.
But how can we help keep the story of Jesus’ birth from being more than just a story that’s in a book? How can we make the stories in the Bible come alive? After all, they aren't fairy-tale stories; they did really happen!
The Bible is a book filled with truth, awe, and wonder. Here are several ways to help children experience and not just hear the stories in the Bible:
1.) Study Them Yourself
I know it may seem like a no-brainer, but in order for us to be able to share with our kids or discuss a story with them, we must know the story.
For example, did you know that there are two very important Josephs in the Bible? There's the Old Testament Joseph (a slave in Egypt) and the New Testament Joseph (Jesus’ earthly father).
If we expect our children to learn and live out Biblical principles they learn, then we must also know and live out them as well!
2.) Step Into Their Shoes
It's easier for us to understand a life situation if we put ourselves in the place of another person. The same is true for Bible stories. Have your kids put themselves in the place of the character in the story, then go a step further and have them act it out! They will begin to see the story clearer and better understand what the characters were thinking and going through. (I sometimes even have children close their eyes and envision what was going on).
3.) Search For Christ
How does the story point us back to Jesus? We know that God was always present throughout the narrative accounts of the Bible, and that every story has an eternal purpose.
In 1st and 2nd Samuel, for example, we see that God provided earthly kings to rule over His people. Jesus is the final eternal King that rules over all as Savior. All stories can point us back to the saving grace of Jesus!
The bottom line is to talk about what your kids have learned. The worst thing we can do is never discuss the Bible stories they've read or heard. This is true about life topics as well.
If we take the time to understand what the Bible teaches, then we can allow Biblical principles to guide our life decisions. Through it all, God will use Bible stories as more than just historical accounts; He'll use them to grow a relationship with our kids that will ultimately glorify Him.