Friday, March 17, 2006

Train Up A Child...Carefully

My four year old daughter is currently away with my parents for their vacation. Every night, before Elana (ee-lane-ah) goes to bed, my mother has been reading her bible stories out of a children's bible. Elana especially enjoyed the story of David and Goliath, and has apparently been requesting that story regularly the last few nights. So last night, my mom was explaining how David loved God, and even though he was little, he could do big things for God. Elana, showing the thought processes of a four-year-old, asked, "Kiki, Does everybody love God?" (Somewhere in the past, Elana started using the nickname Kiki for my mother - we don't know where it cane from, but it has stuck). Kiki satred explaining to the four year old that not everybody loves God, and there are some people who don't love God, and there are even some people who say not nice things about God - like Goliath, but it is important to Love God and obey His Word.
Next, Kiki says, "The Bible tells us how to treat people who don't love God = do you know what it says, Elana?" Again, my daughter's mind gears up and she begins to think. After a few minutes, the epiphany hits and, relating it back to the Goliath story, she says, "We throw stones at them!"

And around the world, hermeneutics professors groan. We'll work on the biblical exegesis in the nest story time. In the mean time, it makes me think about how we present Bible stories to children - maybe we simplify them too much? Unfortunately, some adults never grow past oversimplifications of Scripture like this. In a child it's kind of funny - and correctable. In adults, that's another story...

EDIT: Molak posted his "Family Friendly" thread near the same time as me, so I didn' trealize how this post actually went with his. Context, Hermeneutics, Exegesis. The church is in desperate need of these things. (I don't know if the man who wrote the article is a Christian, or even what his actual point was. But it seems likely that, whatever the point, that was some lovely cherry-pickin')