If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I love to share with my readers about resources for children. I'm always looking for new books and resources to help my own children grow in their understanding of God and his word. And when I find them, I share them here. Today, I have two new books to tell you about.
Here's a really good idea: let's teach our children that God created each of us in his image, whether we have straight hair or curly hair, light skin or dark skin, or whether we like reading or enjoy riding bikes. That's the premise of Trillia Newbell's new children's book, God's Very Good Idea.
"We are all different, but we are also all the same. Everyone you see is different than you, and the same as you. They might look different or speak different or play different. But they are all made in God's image, and so they are all valuable."
This picture book is gospel-centered, explaining to children how God made us to love him and love each other. But since the Fall, people ruined God's very good idea. Because of sin, we don't love God or each other as we should. We treat those who are different from us badly. We are hurtful and unkind. The book goes on to explain that God had a plan to rescue us through Jesus. He paid for our sin on the cross and gave us his Spirit to help us love him and love one another. One day, we will all be together in heaven, loving God and one another perfectly. The book ends by talking about the church, filled with people who are all different, who love Jesus.
God's family is filled with people of every race and nationality, men and women, children and adults, people with every skill and talent imaginable. Let us teach our children about God's great idea. And let us love our brothers and sisters as Jesus has loved us.
The past couple of years, I've been working with my children on the importance of being in the word—reading, studying, meditating, and memorizing it. I encourage them to read it on their own and we study it together in devotions and during homeschool. They've been learning to go through a passage and unpack it verse by verse. That's why I'm excited about David Murray's new book for children, Exploring the Bible. Exploring the Bible is a Bible study for kids and takes them on a journey through the Bible, highlighting the main parts and giving kids a big picture view of Scripture.
There are 52 lessons in the book, for each week of the year. Every week there is a verse to memorize from the week's readings. Then each day of the week, there is a passage to read and a question to answer about it. On Sundays, they bring their book to church and use it to take notes on the sermon. Exploring the Bible gets kids in God's word on a daily basis and helps them begin the habit of reading and thinking through what they have read. At the end of the year, they will have a good overview of the Bible.
A parent can sit with younger children and do the study along with them (for younger elementary students) and older elementary through middle school age students can do it on their own. I'm excited about this study for my children and if you've been looking for a way to help your children learn to study the Bible for themselves, this is an excellent introduction and a great way to build a lifelong habit of learning and growing from God's word.
I highly recommend both of these new books to you and your children.