We started cracking the Bible before bed. A chapter in Proverbs each night, read aloud to my 4, 6, and 7 year olds. I start with a few verses at a time, reading word-for-word from my preferred translation, followed by a brief re-telling in kidspeak. The re-telling is my best attempt to make the ideas tangible and real to them…to take concepts that might otherwise seem beyond their understanding and share them in a way that might sink in. I bumble over explanations and search my mind for familiar analogies to connect the dots in their young minds. I worry that I might get it all wrong, and then a moment later decide that stumbling through together is better than not engaging the Bible at all.
The bread of life. I want them to learn how to take it in, to explore and digest it. To examine it all over and dig deeper. For their ears to hear truth and recognize it in their hearts. What they choose to do with it from there is up to them…but I trust the seeds planted will produce a harvest in the proper time.
I ask for questions and the hands shoot up with exuberance that surprises me. Every time. They have many questions. Insightful, challenging, honest questions. Questions about what a word means. Questions about wisdom…what it is, what it looks like, why we need it. Questions about choices and consequences. I fall over my words but try my best.
We talk about real life examples of wise and foolish choices. This practice has given us a much-needed springboard into a new season of their lives. Although young, they are inching toward independence (whether I like it or not), making increasingly more decisions for themselves that will require them to know how to determine if a choice is wise or not. This is one area in which I desperately do not want to fumble the ball.
So we talk about it. About how sometimes we want to make the wise choice, but we fail to do it. How it takes God’s help to make wise choices, and how He will give us wisdom if we ask for it. How He loves us no matter what, even if we have been foolish, and how His love covers a multitude of sins. How wisdom helps lead us to joy when we choose it, and how foolishness can cause us to hurt ourselves or other people even if we never meant to.
I have to say, I really am surprised by the level of interest, curiosity, and understanding that has come back to me through this activity. I really need to learn to not underestimate my children.
*photos from a few months back I never had a chance to post
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:12
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
136. new friends, 137. dinner out with a gift card, 138. exuberant waves from my oldest, 139. party planning, also with my oldest, 140. bouncy house, 141. discovering old photos I missed, 142. cuddle time, 143. smoothing out the kinks, 144. clean downstairs, 145. quiet to think, 146. washable markers, 147. forward progress, 148. health, 149. sunshine, 150. new journal