While visiting his grandmother, a little boy came upon a large family Bible. Fascinated, he turned the pages until something fell out onto the floor — a leaf that had been pressed between the pages many years earlier.
"Grandma, look what I found," the boy called out. "It's Adam's suit!"
A prized possession, the family Bible usually contains a history of key family events and often features classic paintings of popular stories such as Moses' burning bush or David facing Goliath. You might even find a few treasures from the past, such as a record of births and baptisms, notes in the margin from an ancestor or "Adam's suit."
Some people see the Bible as a great work of literature; some consider it a historical chronicle of the Jews and early Christians, while still others read it as God's supernatural revelation to humanity. In truth, the Bible is all these things and more. It's a light that dispels the darkness of deception and reveals the truth. It's a compass that points us on the right path. It is, quite simply, the Word of God. That's why we must help our children develop a Christian view of the Scriptures. We must stress three important realities:
The Bible came from God. Humans penned the words of the Bible under God's inspiration.
The Bible is truth. Like a flashlight, the Bible provides clarity in every area where it shines its light. It tells the truth about God, the truth about humanity and the truth about our redemption in Jesus Christ.
The Bible is our guide. Like a compass, the Bible provides direction for our spiritual journey and helps us navigate the roads of life.
The activities and discussion questions on the following pages will help your children explore these realities of Scripture and discover a deeper appreciation of the Bible's importance for their lives.
- The Bible came from God.
- The Bible is true.
- The Bible is our guide.
Family Memory Verse
2 Timothy 3:16
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."
For a more in-depth study on the purpose of family, read these Bible verses:
- 2 Peter 1:19-21
- John 17:17
- Psalm 33:4
- Psalm 119:9
- Psalm 119:105
Copyright © 2010 by Kurt Bruner. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
Talk With Your Teen
Introduce the truth and reliability of Scripture by sharing the difference between stories that are made up and the narratives of Scripture that explain who God is and what He has done.
Tell your child a fairy tale you remember from childhood. With your child, illustrate the story by drawing images in the air to make pretend pictures. Explain that fairy tales are fun and exciting, but they are not real.
Then share a story from Scripture. Tell the Bible story in an excited tone and use animated facial expressions and body movements to act out the story. Afterward, give your child a hug so he can feel your embrace while you explain, "That story is real, just like you and me."
Have your child ask the following questions during the week: "Is this pretend like a fairy tale?" or "Is this true like a Bible story?" Together, identify the answer to reinforce the concept that God's Word is true.
Copyright © 2010 by D'Arcy Maher. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
After sundown one evening, turn on a radio and set it to a barely audible volume. Lead your child to another area of the house and turn on a flashlight and turn off all the lights. Next, ask your child to listen carefully for the low radio, and have her use the flashlight as you both walk through the house to find the noise.
Afterward, point out that the flashlight helped her see where she was going. Ask: "What would have happened if you didn't have the flashlight?" Your child may talk about tripping, bumping into things, getting lost or being afraid. Explain that God's true Word guides us and lights our path much like the flashlight did when she navigated through the house.
Now, let your child change the location of the radio and watch you go on the hunt!
— Suzanne Hadley Gosselin,
Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. editor
Copyright © 2010 by Focus on the Family. ThrivingFamily.com.
Ask your tweens: "If, in 100 years, an archeologist were to dig up items that belonged to our family, what three items would best show that you were real?" Explain that for centuries people have dug around in the Holy Land where Abraham, Solomon and Jesus walked. By getting their hands dirty, these archaeologists have discovered that the people and places described in the Bible were real. Even this year, archaeologists finished excavating a wall buried under Jerusalem that they say dates back to the time of King Solomon and matches a structure mentioned in the Bible (see 1 Kings 3:1).
Introduce Ray Vander Laan, a popular Bible history teacher who uses biblically significant locations as backdrops for his Faith Lessons video series. For a taste of Vander Laan's teaching, go to the video clip titled "Making Space for God" and watch it together as a family. Discuss these questions with your children:
- What one thing stands out to you from the video?
- Does seeing this video help the Bible feel more real? Why?
- How does it make you feel to see the Sinai Desert where Moses led God's people?
- By learning that the places and people written about in the Bible were real, does it help you trust that the Bible is accurate and reliable in other ways? Why?
— Jesse Florea, Focus on the Family Clubhouse editor
Copyright © 2010 by Focus on the Family. ThrivingFamily.com.
Talk With Your Teen
Teens often turn to media, friends or music for answers to life's big questions and for direction regarding their big decisions. By pointing your teen toward the compass of God's Word, you will give him the surest tool for navigating life.
Help him understand the relevance of God's Word by discussing the following questions:
- Have you ever heard the Bible described as "just a bunch of myths"? How would you respond to that comment?
- If we both wrote a 10-page paper on the same topic, do you think we would agree on every point? What does that say about the amazing consistency of the Bible when scholars believe 40 different people wrote it over the course of 1,500 years?
- Even if you believe in the consistency and authenticity of the Bible, do you sometimes struggle to see how it is relevant today? [Read Matthew 6:25-34.] What specifics did Jesus mention about how to live life well? How do these verses show that the Bible's teachings are still relevant to modern life?
Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Talk regularly with your teen about what you're learning from your times in the Word. These conversations will show your teen how much you value Scripture — and will demonstrate how he can find answers and direction for his own life.
For a more in-depth study regarding the validity of the Bible, consider reading Josh McDowell's The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict.
— Greg Stier
Copyright © 2010 by Greg Stier. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
Movies, television shows, books — most of the stories your children absorb have been spun from someone's imagination. Even "true" stories are not always entirely factual. With the media often blurring the lines between fact and fantasy, it can be difficult for our children to know what's true and what isn't. How can they know that the Bible is true?
Discuss the following questions with your kids:
- How can you tell the difference between an imaginary story and a true story?
- What's your favorite movie? Is it true? (Even if a story is based on a true incident, talk about how movie writers change things to make a better story.) Where do movie writers get their ideas?
- What is your favorite Bible story? Is it true?
- Who wrote the Bible? Where did these writers get their ideas? (Explain that men wrote what the Holy Spirit told them to write.)
- What is the difference between a good story from a book and an event in the Bible?
- Is it possible to know for certain that God's Word is true? How?
— Crystal Bowman
Copyright © 2010 by Crystal Bowman . Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2010 issue of
Thriving Family magazine.
Did you enjoy this article? Read more like it.
Subscribe to Thriving Family magazine!