Most of us know that good storytelling captures our attention and impresses lessons on our hearts. The same is true for our children! The adventures, battles, victories, and resolutions whisper biblical truths that impact our children, often without them fully understanding how or why. In this episode, Emily and Laura share how stories can help us pass along the gospel and give examples of godly character to our children. A good story represents the Great Story, and wonderful tales laced with hope invite our children to know the greatest storyteller of all–God himself.
- The Story of the Bible: How the Good News About Jesus Is Essential - Tim Keller, TGC
- Are Fairy Tales Just for Children? - Joe Rigney, Desiring God
- Finding the Gems Among the Rubbish: A Guide To Selecting Quality Children’s Literature, Part I - Laura Wifler: RM Co-Founder/Co-Host, Twin Cities Mom Blog
- Seeds of Faith, Awe and Wonder - Autumn Kern: RM Blog Editor, Rosemary & Thyme
- Three Objections to Fairy Tales and C. S. Lewis's Response - Joe Rigney, Desiring God
- Finding Truth in Our Fairy Tales - Kristen O'Neal, Relevant Magazine
- How to Choose Books for Children - Christel Humfrey, TGC
- How to Choose a Good Book for Children - Sally Clarkson
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Picture Book Edition - C.S. Lewis
- The Chronicles of Narnia Official Coloring Book
- The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
- God's Very Good Idea: A True Story of God's Delightfully Different Family - Trillia Newbell
- 2017-2018 Liturgical Calendar
- Storyformed Podcast
- Sarah's List of Recommended Children's Literature - Sarah Clarkson, Whole Heart Ministries
- The Bible Story Handbook: A Resource for Teaching 175 Stories from the Bible - John H. Walton
- Honey for a Child's Heart - Gladys Hunt - A book on how and why to choose good books
- Orange Marmalade - Christian Book Reviews for Kids Under 12
- Aslan's Library - Faith-based book reviews
- On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature - C.S. Lewis
- Live Like a Narnian - Joe Rigney - A good book for helping draw out truths from the books “Narnian discipleship” as he calls it.
- Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus into the Everyday Stuff of Life - Jeff Vanderstelt
More From Risen Motherhood:
- Ep. 33: Intentional Motherhood Starts at Day 1
- Ep. 67: 8 Reasons the Old Testament Should Matter to Moms
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RM|APPLY: Questions for personal reflection or conversation with others, to dig deep and allow the transforming work of the gospel to impact every part of your motherhood
When we introduce vibrant stories to our children, we can communicate larger biblical truths to them in simpler ways.The wonderful thing about stories is that they grow with the reader, taking firmer shape and deeper roots just like Scripture (Heb. 4:12). As we image the ultimate Storyteller, we invite our children to see how the truths of the gospel are wound into everyday life and everyday behaviors. We, like God, can use stories to nurture and train up our children just as he uses Scripture to reveal his perfect will to us, making us like his Son.
God is the greatest storyteller. In his Story, he uses powerful imagery, stories of battle and victory, relatable characters, and a magnificent ending to capture our minds and to create a sense of awe and hope in us. We can choose stories that have a similar effect on our children, bringing them back to the gospel every time. Think of some of your favorite books–either from your childhood or now. How do those storylines mirror the redemptive story of the Bible? What biblical traits do the characters exhibit?
When we use stories to teach our children about the gospel and about biblical living, we offer new ways of seeing these important truths. They may find a kindred spirit in a character or be able to connect with the language or imagery in ways different than in the adult-oriented examples we tell them. What are some experiences or difficulties in your child’s life right now? What kind of stories could you find that offer gospel truths for their situation–bravery, obedience, kindness, forgiveness?
Reading good stories to your children is just one way to disciple them, and it can be done in many ways! Breathe a sigh of relief, mama, because it doesn’t need to be a stressor or legalistic part of your life. How can you easily incorporate reading into your daily rhythms? Sitting down before naptime or bedtime? Audiobooks in the car? Doing a group activity while listening to one person read?
Hopefully the stories we choose trigger deep theological truths in our minds and hearts. While our children may not understand everything they hear, that’s okay. It gives us the opportunity to have conversations about hard topics, difficult situations, or simply bigger biblical truths. How does the gospel help shape these harder conversations? What are the major lessons you want to share with your children in this season?
God’s story is full of tension, pain, villains, battles, loss–things we can all connect with here on earth. But his story did not stop there. At the brink of evil’s victory, our story’s resolution came in the form of Jesus Christ. The Hero. The Rescuer. The King. Because of Christ’s victory, we know how our story ends, and it is glorious. How does God’s story inspire, excite, and challenge you? How does the gospel and the future glory of Christ give purpose and weight to the story–within the Story– you’re living now?