For this mother of three teenagers, life is insanely busy. School, homework, activities, sports, church, doctors appointments, friends, teachers … not to mention the stress that goes into making sure they are doing all the “right things” to make those inevitable college applications shine.
In the “business” of life, it’s sometimes easy to forget that, as author Dr. V. Gilbert Beers says, “What our children become is infinitely more important than what our children will do.”
In other words, it’s who they are becoming on the inside that matters most.
In the hubbub of living in the fast lane that is modern America, I must remind myself that the greatest gift I can impart to my children is to teach them to love God with all of their hearts and minds, and to love their neighbors as they love themselves.
The toxicity of our culture makes it more important than ever for parents to take an active role in developing the character traits that enable our sons and daughters to live their lives in a manner that strengthens and reveals this call to love.
I’ve discovered an amazing resource to help immerse your entire family in the truths that transform lives. It’s called the Family Bible Library, and it’s tailor-made for parents to read with children of any age—from infancy through the tumultuous teens.
The series is authored by Dr. Beers and is specifically built on what he calls “the 36 Building Blocks of Character,” such as faith, self-control, sympathy and courage. “The 180 Bible stories in Family Bible Library are based on these 36 Building Blocks of Character,” Dr. Beers writes. “Each of these is a character trait of Jesus, one that you will want to build in your child. Together they will help to make your child a godly person in Christ Jesus.”
The timeless biblical stories are related in easy-to-understand language and are accompanied by beautiful illustrations. There are also colorful sidebars that help illuminate behind-the-scenes facts and questions for family discussions about the featured character traits.
Take the story of Noah and the ark. The trait in question, “obeying,” is prominently identified, and a listing of other Bible verses that teach about obedience is provided. We learn some details about what building the ark would have been like: What tools did Noah use? What kind of wood? How big was the ark (in feet, not “cubits”)?
After hearing the story, readers are urged to think about obedience:
“Noah obeyed God in everything that God asked. It wasn’t easy, though. Think of having all your neighbors laugh at you every day for a hundred and twenty years. That would be hard, wouldn’t it? But Noah did it. Do you think that was a good idea for Noah to obey God? Why? Is it a good idea for you to obey God? Why?”
Thus the biblical lesson is not only reinforced but applied to a child’s own life. It’s no longer an abstraction but a seed of morality, planted deeply by loving parents and a loving God, nurtured by prayer and ready to be brought to harvest by a life of worship and service.
The 180 Bible stories are laid out in this fashion throughout six volumes. Then, in volumes seven and eight, Family Bible Library offers practical tools to make teaching truths manageable. Volume seven outlines a daily Bible-reading schedule for the year, with which story to cover each day and a list of questions to discuss. Volume eight gives you a guide to the growth of your children at each age and a guide to each of the 36 Building Blocks of Character.
Say your child has been having trouble being truthful. Volume eight can help you find a Bible story that shows the value of honesty. And so on.
Nothing could be more “appropriate for all ages” than the Bible, especially when it’s presented in a manner that helps parents perform the most important job of all—raising our children to be creatures of faith and love. As Dr. Beers says:
“The destiny of the world’s future is in the hands of humble people called parents. They are humble because every parent knows the job is too big, the future is too great, and they are too inadequate. But God delights in taking us ordinary people and doing extraordinary work through us.”
Family Bible Library gives you the tools to help shape your child, your family and your world. To find out more, visit their Web site (swfamily.com) or call 1-866-681-8854—and unleash the potential of the “Good Book” in your family.