Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Bible and You ; Helping Children Learn about God's Care

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Bible and You ; Helping Children Learn about God's Care

Article excerpt

Michael came to visit me. He is my nephew, and I am his Aunt Wendy. I live in the country in a farmhouse that is so old that every floor tilts a different way; and you feel like you are walking on the deck of a ship as you go from room to room. During Michael's visit, we tried to do interesting things, like see a movie on dinosaurs. Once, we went to a temple that had a huge statue of Buddha. Michael noticed that people had left small candies and fruit for the Buddha as a way to express their respect for him.

Michael loved to read, and he had brought a children's Bible with him that had brightly drawn pictures of Bible stories. Though Michael was chatty about a lot of things, he was very quiet about God and religion.

One night when I was tucking him in at bedtime, he shared a sentence from Psalms: "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them" (119:165). It seemed to me this was a great prayer, because it worked in two different ways. First, it says you will have great peace when you trust God and understand that His laws are loving, not hard to follow. Next, it says that a person who sees God's laws as something good will never feel resentful or offended about being obedient to them.

Then when we looked at Michael's Bible, we began to talk a little about the story of creation in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Michael suddenly jumped out of his makeshift bed on the couch and began to pace up and down the room, struggling with something. (He may have even pounded his fist in his hand.) Some built-up anger came out, and Michael said with a break in his voice, "God lied!"

The whole story came pouring out. Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden of Eden, or they would surely die. The serpent convinced Eve to take a bite, she gave some to Adam, and guess what? They didn't die - at least not that very second. Michael felt that they had been tricked by God, because they didn't die after all. …

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