Monday, October 28, 2013

There's No Furry Animals in That Story

A few weeks ago I shared bits and pieces of King David’s life in my sermon. If you missed it, it looked like this…

No, David’s life looks more like this; get told you’ll be king while still a boy, slay a goliath, join the king’s court, have the king suspect you for treason and try to kill you, marry his daughter, have the king try to kill you again, eventually become king, have enemies try to kill you, experience victory over enemies, see a pretty girl taking a bath, murder her husband, get caught, lose 4 sons, one of whom was trying to kill you and take over, even causing you to run for your life…

After the service, my kids came up to me and asked me the deal about David being a murderer. In case you need to be reminded, these are pastor’s kids. These are kids that have picked out their favorite spots to play in the church building because they are here so often. These are kids who don’t understand why others miss, since they are not given that option.

They had never heard the story of David and Bathsheba. Now, before you totally judge me (or is it too late?) understand a few things. Jennifer and I, probably like many parents, don’t just open the Bible to the bloodiest and most sexually graphic stories when we read to our children. We want our kids to have a thorough knowledge, but sordid stories don’t lend themselves to dinner time.

However, this was a great reminder to me about the primary role of parenting in discipling our children. Let it be a reminder to you as well. Much of the children’s curriculum offered focuses on stories of God’s love and furry animals. Both are key to children’s ministries. Even when we tell the story of Noah’s Ark, we focus on the pairs of animals and the rainbow, but gloss over the mass genocide.

When telling the story of David and Goliath, kids are left with the idea that Goliath died from the stone hitting his head. It can be years before they learn about David taking Goliath’s sword and cutting off his head. And let’s be honest, the story of David and Bathsheba, besides talking about sexual immorality and murder, doesn’t have any furry animals.

I’m admitting all of this, fully cognizant that, as the Christian Education Pastor at my church, I help select the curriculum and determine the direction for our children’s ministries. Yet I fully believe the wisdom in Proverbs when parents are directed to train up our children.

I want parents to be fully engaged to take on this task. I want them to be fully equipped to do so with confidence. If you’re assuming your children will hear every story the Bible shares, then take another look at the book of Judges and then volunteer to teach the preschool class.

On the other hand, please accept your role as parents (aka, primary disciplers) of your children. Take family time to share with them, appropriate to their age. One of the best commands God gave the Israelites is found in Deuteronomy 6.

6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.

Here are a few resources to help you in this endeavor. Not only can you do it, you must.

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