I am not the biggest fan of post apocalyptic films none of them end well. Spoiler alert everyone dies nearly all the time. These movies always freak me out. They are too chaotic for me. There are no rules no sense of social norms. There is very little trust understanding and empathy. It’s Godless, faithless and Darwin on steroids. As I describe what a post apocalyptic movie sounds like many of you are agreeing many of you think I am overstating and simplifying the genre too much. What we all can agree is that if we close our eyes and think about what I just described the picture we are all drawn to is the High School we attended. The food post apocalyptic, the lack of trust and empathy all very real. Darwinism on steroids
While describing High School as post apocalyptic might be overstating things a bit. One thing that has never been true of our world and youth culture is a collective lack of an objective moral standard. The seeds of post modernity were sown years ago and we are just now beginning to reap the first fruits of this harvest.
I remember reading a news article how in the renovation of the Lincoln monument they had planned to sand blast the scripture verses off the monument. The article went on to describe that there was sufficient outcry and the verses of scripture remain. As I was reading I was reminded afresh that our country was founded on the idea that there is a truth outside our small world that is far bigger than us. An external set of principles that guided men of faith and were respected by men who were didn’t share that same faith. What they had in common was this idea of a moral framework that held our country. This common grace that helped our country in good times and bad times. There was prayer in school there was the Ten Commandments in our courtrooms.
Our kids don’t have that luxury. They are constantly bombarded by the incessant search for happiness. By the a culture that live in a way who’s motto is best articulated by Sheryl Crow famous lyrics “If it makes you happy it can’t be that bad.”
Our kids need to understand that the Bible is more than a tool, prop or answer book. It’s not primarily about us. It’s not even primarily about what we should do and shouldn’t do it’s a letter, a story, a true fairy tale. It’s the unfolding story of a God who at great cost to himself lived a life we couldn’t live and died a death we should have died. After three days he came back to life to defeat our two greatest enemies fear and death. He now lives for us interceding for us and is one day coming back to as JRR Tolkien says to make all the sad things about world untrue. The bible is God’s word. The bible is our external source of truth. Where you find a light view of scripture in the life of a christian you often have a christian who doesn’t understand what has been done for them.
The bible like all tools only works if you use it. Part of the problem that parents have is they don’t read their own bibles. You don’t need to use a reading plan if it works for you do it. Reading plans stress me out more than move me to worship. I remember at times in my life being more excited to check a box done than to read and appreciate the bible as what it is. The bible is not a box to be checked it’s the unfolding love story of a King for his Kingdom and those who inhabit it.
How do we help our kids love the Bible?
One of the keys to helping kids love their bible – stay one bible ahead of them.
I have this theory (I have lots of little theories) Kids don’t love their Bibles because we keep them in a Bible that is to young for them for to long. Why do we do this?
We attach sentiment to the Bible they have
We want to keep them babies forever
We don’t know what Bibles are out there
One of the best kids Bibles ever written is the Jesus Storybook Bible. I gave it to my oldest son around a year and half ago. We have read each story at least 3 or four times each I started noticing something in the fall. He was becoming more interested in Harry Potter and Lego’s than he was in the Bible. I knew it was time for a change. I started looking for a new Bible.
My son was asking about Harry Potter I told him that I don’t really like witches. To which he said why? I told him I don’t like them because they try to do things without God’s help. We all do that sometimes witches do it more often. I then told him there are witches in the Bible, he didn’t believe me, I told him there are dragons, and stories of people getting killed with swords while on the toilet. He didn’t believe me because non of those stories where in his kids bible. I then knew getting a new Bible need to happen soon I searched and I found the perfect Bible for my boy it’s called “The Action Bible.” The Action Bible is basically a revamp of The Picture Bible. It is done in cartoon style so kids can see the story unfold. It is the perfect transition Bible to one full of words.
I wrapped up my son’s new Bible I was a bit nervous. He unwrapped it and didn’t react to much I explained that this Bible had more stories than his last one. There were witches, battles, and dragons. His eyes were huge. I started reading him the story of the witch of Endor, The dragon in Revelation, the story of Jesus casting demons into the pigs, and the valley of the dry bones (did I mention my oldest is a boy). When we were in the middle of the second story he looked up at me and said “Dad, I love my Bible.” It was right then and there my newest theory was formed. This Bible is a bit older for my son but it’s perfect. I think the reason many kids don’t love their Bible is their parents don’t stay one bible ahead. I have seen 6th graders come to Uptown with precious moment Bibles and likewise have seen some 2nd graders with Ryre study Bibles.
Am I sad my oldest has outgrown the Jesus Storybook Bible, Yes. Am I glad he loves his Bible? You betcha.
Here is my stay one Bible ahead plan for my kids.
Lift the Flap Bible – Sally Lloyd-Jones
Beginners Bible – Kelly Pully
Jesus Story Book Bible – Sally Lloyd-Jones
The Action Bible – Sergio Cariello
The Day by Day Bible – Karyn Henley
The Grow Bible -Crossway
Student’s Life Application Study Bible NLT –Tyndale