We stepped into some uncomfortable territory in our Bible readings this week. In the past, whether it’s been intentional or not, there have been some Bible stories I have avoided telling the children. In part, probably because a lot of children’s Bibles leave out (or diminish) some of the harder stories. Cain and Abel is one example of this that we tackled in the first days of homeschooling. That’s a story that, if it even appears in a children’s Bible, is usually grossly understated–Cain wasn’t nice to Abel, etc. Understandable–when you’re talking to impulsive children who are prone to push, hit, or bite (OK, only Moose does the biting!) when they’re upset, you may not want to mention a guy who killed his brother. That tends to make the aforementioned pushing, hitting and biting seem less bad. But we made it through that story without incident…
This week was harder, though. We had to read about Abraham being instructed by God to sacrifice Isaac. Another story we hadn’t read before, and one I really didn’t want to have to try to explain to two small children. How do you talk about a father preparing to kill his only son, and then add in that he was doing it because God told him to? But we made our way through that one, too. Turkey and Bunny didn’t say or ask much, but I could see the wheels turning in their heads as they pondered what the story meant. I didn’t want to press them too hard–I certainely didn’t want to be the cause of any nightmares by talking about it too much.
What we did talk about, though, was how good it was that Abraham loved God so much, was obedient and able to trust Him. And how good it was that God provided a ram so that Isaac wouldn’t have to be the offering. And most of all, how, because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all of us, we don’t have to offer sacrifices to God anymore, and He would never ask us to what He asked of Abraham. I hope I reassured them sufficiently. Reading that part of the Bible is a totally different experience when you’re doing it with your own, rather sensitive, children. I think I need some reassurance, too!
2 thoughts on “Hard Things”
The children are smarter than we adults give them credit. They “get it”, far more often that we think. Aside from that, children also trust their teachers. Especially when it’s Mom. A loving, faithful mother teaching her children is guided by the Holy Spirit who calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth. Your teachings are “sufficient” and not “re”-assurance, but “assurance” of this is yours in the Word of God, which does not return empty.
God blesses your continued teaching and your children’s thirsty learning!
It is only by the grace of God that any of us have turned out [smile], so you’re doing fine! And when you’re not, there’s grace for that too.
That is an interesting thought, though: How will my opinions change when I’m teaching my own kids? I’ve been teaching Sunday School classes for many years, but my views and approaches may shift when it’s my kids. Hadn’t thought of that.