Imagine what it would be like if every time you went to see a movie, the theater would only let you watch five minutes at a time. Now imagine if they only showed those five minute scenes out of order.
It would be frustrating, right? Probably hard to figure out the story and where the whole thing was going. Not only would the scenes feel random and disconnected, but the greater narrative would be lost.
Sometimes, I think this is how we introduce kids to the Bible. We throw random stories at them and trust that somehow they'll understand what it's all about. Even if we read the Bible with them sequentially, it's easy to lose the greater story in the midst of so many smaller events.
It's one thing to read Bible stories to your kids. It's a whole other challenge to help them understand what the Bible's really about.
However, if you step back and view the whole narrative of Scripture together, you'll see two big ideas emerge that every kid can understand. Relationship and responsibility. Every story in the Bible comes back to this.
The Bible is God's story, but it's actually two different kinds of stories woven together. It's a love story (but not the mushy kind) and an adventure story.
The Love Story: God loves us and wants to be our dad in heaven. He wants to adopt us into his special family and spend time with us every day.
The Adventure Story: Our dad in heaven has a really important job. He's the King of the universe, and he's on a mission to save the world he made. As kids of the king, we get to be a part of this adventure.
Talk to your kids about the love story and adventure story. As you read the Bible together, zero on which themes are popping out of the passage. Is this a story about friendship with God or going on a mission with God? Or do you see both?
As you help your kids see God's big story through these double lenses, they'll begin to not just learn Bible stories, but find purpose and meaning for their everyday lives.
If you'd like some help teaching your kids about God's love story and adventure story, check out my upcoming series of family devotionals, called God's Big Adventure. Over three short devotional books, we'll explore the entire story from Genesis to Revelation, showing kids how they can live out friendship and adventure with God every day.
To get updates on the book release and for some cool insider bonuses and giveaways, sign up for the God's Big Adventure e-mail below.