Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big Truths for Young Hearts

It isn’t easy to teach young children about the depth and scope of Christian faith.  Too often they fall in love with the stories and blindly play follow the leader with their parent’s faith.  They understand only enough to be dangerous, or easily fooled.  Then adulthood arrives and questions surface.  Finding understanding of their own can be very challenging.  I believe that’s why there is a notable lack of young adult’s from our congregations,leaving a gaping hole in our churches.  If true, biblical, understanding could be achieved and experienced first hand in childhood I think our churches would be fuller and more dynamic.  Our world could be better evangelized if we took the time to equip our children with knowledge when they are young.
Big Truths for Young Hearts doesn’t talk baby talk or diminish a child’s ability to understand weighty biblical concepts.  Yet, it isn’t too heavy for them to grasp.  I think what makes this book work so well is that it is written in brief chapters that respect the attention spans of children.  Each chapter also contains questions for review and discussion.
Concepts like the revelation of God, the Trinity, Creation, the ramifications of sin, the nature of Jesus, and the path to Salvation (etc.) might seem tricky to explain to a child.  Maybe that’s why we simplify for their young hearts and turn theology into entertainment.
Reading this book really showed me that God is exciting enough for kids to want to understand.  He doesn’t need my crazy or flashy attempts at making Him better understood.  God’s word was written with all age levels and people in mind and it draws men, women and children alike to the undeniable truth of God.   
Big Truths for Young Hearts is written for children 6-14.  We followed the recommended instructions and read a chapter each night before bed.  I was surprised when my 4-year-old joined in to answer review questions right along with the others.
The author of Big Truths for Young Hearts, Bruce A. Ware, has credentials that point to his education and biblical knowledge.  He is the professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He’s authored other books as well.  However, most impressive of his credentials is what his children write in the foreword.  When children can acknowledge their parents as Godly leaders and Christian examples that shaped them into lifelong followers, I think that’s enough to impress me.
I appreciated the honesty of his daughters when they wrote:
” . . .we’re so glad that you’re learning truths about God! It doesn’t always seem fun to have to sit and listen to your parents. But this subject is actually more exciting than anything else you could think of. . .”
It’s not easy for them or for us.  Committing to scheduled family devotions can always create challenges when we have antsy little ones who might prefer to do something else.  However, the value is eternal with eternal rewards.
To parents they wrote:
” . . .it may sound cliché, but we followed our father’s teaching in part because he practiced what he preached. ”
My opinion:
1.Pick up a copy of Big Truths for Young Hearts.  You can buy a copy at www.crossway.org/blog.
2. Make a routine of reading a chapter each night with your children. 
3.  Did they listen to you as you read?  If so, you might think that the biggest challenge is over. Think again.
4. The hardest part: Follow the author’s awesome example and Live what you teach.  Apply what you’re teaching them to your own life.  Be the example for them to follow.
Happy Reading!

* I was given this product free to review on behalf of Crossway, December 2009 

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