How Do You Educate Tough Bible Tales to Little Children?

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It was an harmless request—”Megan, would you train my Sunday college class for me subsequent week?”—and an equally naïve acceptance. Little did I anticipate the biblical scholarship obligatory for an hour on Sunday morning with the 5- and 6-year-olds.

After I opened the instructor’s handbook on Saturday night, I found the issue. I hadn’t agreed to a pleasant little Bible lesson on “Adam names the animals” or “Jesus welcomes the youngsters.” Nope. Of all of the tales within the curriculum, the lot fell to me to show about David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11).

It was certain to occur. If we take significantly our obligation to declare “the entire counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), we’re going to come back throughout some tough passages. A household or church who talks with their youngsters concerning the Scripture as they sit and stroll and stand up and lie down (Deut. 6:6–8) should tackle David and Bathsheba—in addition to Rahab, Tamar, Dinah, and Delilah—someday.

Though they make dad and mom and Sunday college lecturers squirm, these passages are “breathed out by God” and are “worthwhile” (2 Tim. 3:16). It’s good for our kids to study them as a result of they’re God’s good Phrase to us, educating us about his holiness and our want for a Savior. Additionally, as Jen Wilkin not too long ago identified, these uncomfortable texts assist us study to like the harm and hurting in our midst.

Pretending to Be Married?

Proper from the start, I knew I wasn’t going to parse a few of this tales’ particulars. I wasn’t going to explain intercourse to youngsters barely out of diapers, nor would I deal with the query of whether or not David’s act was rape or adultery. However I nonetheless couldn’t keep away from the important drawback of explaining sexual sin to little youngsters.

It appeared to me I had two choices. The primary choice was to make use of the script offered by the curriculum and say that David and Bathsheba had been pretending to be married: “David acted like Bathsheba was his spouse, however she wasn’t. This was depraved.”

My coverage with my very own three youngsters is to at all times inform the reality. The Bible is full fact, and I wish to keep that intrinsic truthfulness as I paraphrase and retell and clarify it to my youngsters. This doesn’t imply I inform them each gory element, however I additionally don’t say something unfaithful. As they develop, I need them to construct on the inspiration of fact I’ve given them, to not query all the things they’ve been advised.

My coverage with my very own youngsters is to at all times inform the reality. . . . As they develop, I need them to construct on the inspiration of fact I’ve given them, to not query all the things they’ve been advised.

And I wasn’t satisfied that “David acted like Bathsheba was his spouse” was true. In a godly marriage, a husband doesn’t power or manipulate his spouse to have intercourse with him. David wasn’t merely appearing like a husband does. Additional, Nathan’s subsequent parable (2 Sam. 12:1–9) makes this level. The poor man had a sheep he beloved and cared for and handled as a pet. The wealthy man stole this sheep. Does the wealthy man then make it his pet? No, he doesn’t. He kills it and eats it. David wasn’t pretending Bathsheba was his spouse whereas taking part in home together with her. He was killing and consuming her.

Inform that to a kindergartner.

Why Is Sexual Sin Unhealthy?

My second choice was to elucidate sexual sin when it comes to one other sin. VeggieTales takes this strategy within the episode that characterizes Bathsheba as a stolen rubber-duckie toy. Each child can perceive stealing, so the screenwriters framed adultery when it comes to theft. Don’t take individuals who don’t belong to you.

Sure, sexual sin does steadily contain different sins. It typically begins with coveting and ends with mendacity and has loads of self-hurting and neighbor-hurting within the center. But when we train youngsters that adultery and fornication and rape are simply types of different sins, we aren’t telling the reality. Within the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1–17), a abstract of God’s legislation for his folks, sexual sin will get a prohibition of its personal within the seventh commandment: “You shall not commit adultery” (v. 14).

So what makes sexual sin distinct from different sins?

In our day, even professing Christians justify sexual sin on the grounds that—underneath the correct circumstances—it doesn’t break some other commandments. Frequent defenses embody: “It’s not hurting anybody” (sixth commandment) or “Nobody is taking something from anybody; it’s consensual” (eighth commandment) or “It’s occurring anyway; at the very least we’re lastly being trustworthy about it” (ninth commandment).

However even when it had been doable to completely preserve all the opposite commandments, we nonetheless aren’t excused in breaking the seventh. The first drawback with sexual sin isn’t that it breaks different legal guidelines. The first drawback with sexual sin is that it breaks God’s legislation—which is to say, God’s requirement for holiness—about intercourse. Telling youngsters the rest is unfaithful and gained’t serve them effectively as they develop up in a sexually licentious world.

Breaking God’s Guidelines for Marriage

So, what did David do fallacious? (Which introduced me again to the place I began: attempting to not clarify intercourse to another person’s 5-year-old.) I feel the unique Sunday college script obtained at the very least one factor proper; the seventh commandment is concerning the sanctity of marriage. And to elucidate David’s sin to our children, we have now to be clear that his sin was breaking God’s legislation for marriage.

After we encounter tough passages about adultery, rape, incest, prostitution, and fornication, we must always tread fastidiously, however we shouldn’t have to tread timidly. The identical holy God who declared his legislation to “all of the folks” of Israel (Ex. 24:3) declares his legislation to each youngsters and adults in the present day. Talking plainly concerning the seventh commandment—in a Sunday college classroom or across the household dinner desk—is each true and useful. God’s good phrase for marriage provides even little youngsters a class for the sexual chaos round them and factors them to Christ, the one Savior of sinners.

On that specific Sunday morning, I collected the crayons and gathered the little ones. I learn the Bible passage, after which I mentioned: David didn’t care about what God mentioned about husbands and wives. And he didn’t care that Uriah and Bathsheba promised to be married to one another. David solely cared about what he needed. David made up his personal guidelines about being married. This was disobeying God, and it wasn’t good for him or for Bathsheba. David wanted to be forgiven by God, identical to you and I do.

Now, I feel I want some animal crackers and apple juice.

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