Monday, April 14, 2014

To my children - the Bible

The last time I went to mom's group at my church, the discussion leader asked a really great question. She asked, "What are the most important things that you want your children to know about Christianity?" The question has really stuck with me. There are many things I want them to know. So many, that I cannot fit them into one post. This one is going to cover the Bible.
What I really want them to know is that it is a book about the history of God and humanity. It is not a book that provides character templates. I mean, do I really want my sons to be like David? Hunted, polygamous, murdering, worshipping David? No, not at all. Do I want them to go to God because they know God's love in the midst of their worst sins? Most definitely. Teaching them that the focus of their reading is God instead of the character they are reading about, or the three main points of the Bible story is huge on my list of things I want them to know.

I want them to know that they can never know all there is in the Bible. It is not a bunch of information to memorize. One cannot do a study on John and then "know" that book and never revisit it. I want them to know that they do not always have to be studying the Bible. They can spend time learning to meditate, or fast, or serve instead. I mean we only have so much time each week. If I teach them that they have to set aside four hours on Sunday, and then at least one or two in the rest of the week to listen to a lecture and maybe sing, then when am I going to teach them to serve? Sometimes service takes up too much time if one feels committed in those other areas too. Some acts of service are long time commitments. I think of the woman who watches my kids every Monday through this deployment. That's a serious commitment. What about mowing lawns for a shut in? Is that not also worth an hour on Sunday instead of an evening service? I realize this might seem radical, but it is what I want them to know.

I want them to know that they can read an entire Bible book and walk away not feeling any different and it is not an indicator of their spiritual growth. On the other hand, sometimes five words will carry them forward for weeks and months in their life with God.

Probably the most important thing though is that the Bible is a book. It is only alive through the Holy Spirit. God is God, not a book.

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