Estimated Reading Time: 1 min. 20 sec.
Let’s say you’re about to read from the book of Judges, and you just finished going through the story of Samson with your son and daughter. Flipping ahead you see in chapter 19 the story of the Levite’s Concubine. You knew it was coming, but you were hoping it wasn’t so soon! But now you have to make a decision as you look at the earnest, expectant faces of your innocent children looking up at you. Is now the time to share this graphic account with them? Would they even understand it?
This is a simple example of the type of dilemma you might run into as you read the Scripture to your little ones. We want to be honest and accurate with our children as we teach them about the Bible, but here is where we have to exercise a little Godly wisdom. Are your children, who have very little exposure to the evils of the world, really ready to hear such disturbing material? Also, what about those long lists of genealogies? You might ask, “Well, since it’s the Bible, doesn’t that mean its age appropriate?”.
We must take care not to use the Bible (God’s Word) as an excuse to destroy innocence or to ignore the youthful perspective of our children. We are trying to instill in their minds a deep admiration and love for God and the Bible. We should also be mindful that “there is a time for everything” (Eccl. 3), and “not everything is beneficial” (1 Cor. 10:23).
There will be a time when our children should be introduced to every section of Scripture, but it may be best to save the reading of some parts of the Bible until they are able to appreciate and understand the purpose of those sections. Let’s be careful to remember and appreciate the season of innocence as we read to those impressionable minds from God’s word.