I think that a “Kids say the darndest things… about the Bible” video would be great.
First, to show the innocence of their answers when they don’t know yet. Second, to show how quickly and easily they absorb and understand the core message and moral of the stories – even better than many adults.
I always find it interesting that Jesus said that we should be like children (Matthew 18:3), not like Pharisees (Matthew 23) – children understand the importance of the inner, moral and message of a story, while Pharisees get hung up on the details and overlook the beautiful simplicity of the message (2 Corinthians 3:6).
For example, we want Mia to learn that the story of the three pigs is about being wise, building on a strong foundation, and building a life out of the materials that are going to stand upright, true, and last forever, never to fall to the storms and trials of life – a life built upon accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, repenting from sin, resisting evil, seeking God’s will in our lives, and showing others mercy and forgiveness, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). A person that does this not only save themselves, but is a shelter for their loved ones to come to as well in their times of trouble and need(Matthew 25:31-46).
The 3 little pigs story isn’t just about being sure that you earn enough money to build a house out of brick material so you can keep the enemies from destroying your life, leaving you running to your friends and relatives for help. It isn’t just about an evil wolf looking to gobble up unwise piggies when he finds them unprepared.
One of the above perspectives demonstrates spiritual understanding (seeing the underlying forces and root cause behind the situation and circumstances), and one is earthly knowledge (focused only on what can be seen and touched). And what is interesting to me is that kids catch on to this underlying “message” even quicker than many adults, because they are not yet jaded with the stresses of adult responsibilities.
You know, I think that I’m learning more from being a father to my 4 year old, and a husband to my wife, and a daily servant seeking God’s will in this past year, than I ever learned in the whole of my other 36 years of living for myself. And I have so much left to learn.
This all came up because of Mia’s answer to a question in her Sunday School class today was cute and humorous. We read the Bible and bible story books with her all the time, but she is just 4 years and a month old.
Unfortunately, there are those that I know that would be mortified that their child did not know the correct answer to a biblical trivia question, and they might even think that it was a bad reflection on them that their child didn’t know it. Yes, there are people that will try to measure themselves against others based on their biblical knowledge and theology – I’m even guilty of letting my study of scripture become a source of personal pride at times instead of remaining humbly grateful to the Holy Spirit for teaching me. (Unfortunately, I stumble and act like a hypocrite sometimes. Me=imperfect)
Yes, I want Mia to know that the gift that the woman gave Jesus was not “a turtle”, but to put perfume on Him and to wash his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair (Luke 7:36-50).
But it would only mortify me if she thought that God is a mean, wrathful, hateful, envious, jealous, power-drunk being in the sky that throws lightning bolts and fire of punishment down onto those that aren’t good enough – instead of knowing that our Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit together are all powerful, all knowing, forgiving, loving, merciful, just, faithful, our redeemer, our healer, our provider, our shelter, our hope, our salvation, our teacher, our comforter, our loving disciplinarian, and our caring friend.
So yes, she will continue to learn the trivia and the theology over time, but her foundation is going to be rooted in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, repentance, seeking God’s will – and yes, she will learn that there are those who are allowed to choose a life separated from God, and they will eventually understand the foolishness of their decision.
But I don’t want my daughter practicing religion and studying theology simply because she is afraid of going to an eternal torment in hell. I don’t want her simply filling out her prayer requirement for a “get out of hell free card” to be followed by Sunday religious practices but a life missing out on a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I want my daughter to know this amazing free gift of grace, and know the grattitude that changes attitude, and experience the change inside that comes from the Holy Spirit of Christ living inside her, and living through her, touching the lives of others, bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and serving and loving a living Savior that will walk closer to her than a brother, who will be her friend forever.
And that is how she will know freedom, not just religion.