“Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what He has done.
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (some times on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. […] It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life. You see the best thing about this Story is – it’s true! There are lots of stories, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The story of how God loves His children and has come to rescue them. (The Jesus Storybook Bible)
There are many children’s Bibles out there but what stands out to us about The Jesus Storybook Bible is, as the excerpt reminds us, the whole Bible is God’s story and we’re in it. We’re reminded that the question “who am I?” is shaped in large part by the question “whose story am I in?”
As parents we want the very best for our children and the very best is Jesus Christ.
So as lovers of Jesus, we want our children to inherit what we love, to inherit Who we love. We want them to come to share this Christian story and to love the One at the centre of the story, in a deep and personal way.
As parents we want the very best for our children and the very best is Jesus Christ. Yet sometimes when it comes to sharing our faith with our children we don’t always know where to start.
Reading the Bible with your children on a regular basis opens their hearts and minds to the gospel in a powerful way.
This is why we have found The Jesus Storybook Bible so helpful. The engaging style captivates both children and parents, accompanied by beautiful illustrations. The Jesus Storybook Bible’s theme is clear from beginning to end: Jesus himself! What better way to share the gospel with our children than reminding them over and over again of the centrality of Christ.
Reading the Bible with your children on a regular basis opens their hearts and minds to the gospel in a powerful way. (Finding a regular time helps hugely, even if you forget, they will remind you!) We have found that Lloyd-Jones’ Jesus Storybook Bible is an excellent way to introduce them to the love of God, to the God who is love, and to help them dig deeper as they grow in their own love of God. We have made it a tradition to give each child in our family their own copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible on their fourth birthday, something they look forward to and treasure.
Indeed, words have power, stories embody meaning. As one poem puts it:
What if the words we speak our not our own;
But gifted come from Kingly throne?
What if the language now we speak,
Was spoken first to formless deep?
Then old it is but mighty still,
For still it works to form His will.
So how we speak, of what and when,
Might shape us more than first portends.
Yet what if by chance the world did speak,
Another language than Whose we seek?
Yet that last stanza reminds us that the Christian story is not (by any means!) the only story our children are hearing; our schools tell stories, the news tells stories and perhaps most powerfully (dangerously?) our screens and our social media tell stories. This all matters, because to be human is to be formed by the stories we hear.
So whether you have this particular children’s Bible in your home or not (yet!), acts like writing down a special Bible verse on a notecard for each child to keep in their bed with them to be read over and over are extremely meaningful and powerful. Perhaps try to read a psalm in the morning at breakfast or in the evening at dinner, any amount of reading from the Bible in front of our children is a good idea. It shows them we not only believe the story, that we not only think it’s true, but that we love it, we love Him and we want His story to be the one that ultimately forms us. And our heartfelt prayer is that it forms them too.
P.S. For a great overview of the whole Bible, book by book, beginning to end, check out Veggie-tales co-creator Phil Vischers’ series, What’s In the Bible? (or view it through a Christian streaming service JellyTelly here.) In addition, Lloyd-Jones has also written a wonderful devotional book for children, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing (illus. by Jago).