How to Teach Your Kids the Bible without Traumatizing Them

Best Childrens Bibles

I’m part of a Tuesday moms group where a few moms had shared that they were unsure about getting into gruesome details of the Bible (murder and adultery) with young children. One six year old had asked, seemingly randomly, “How do you gouge someone’s eyes out?” When asked where she had heard of such a thing, it was discovered that she had read about it in the story of Sampson and Delilah. Not the best for baby’s first Bible stories. We don’t want to give up reading the Bible or telling the stories within, but what is the best children’s Bible?

Yesterday we met and discussed how to teach and share the Bible with children in age appropriate ways. A lot of wisdom was in that room so I thought I’d share some of the thoughts and resources I learned about there, plus a few more. We didn’t come to a conclusion on just one best children’s Bible, but many options depending on age.

Personally I am a fan of teaching about Jesus first, hence all the Parenting In Christ books. Seeing and getting to know Christ in you will have  profound effects on how they come to see and accept (or reject) the scriptures and lessons they learn, even into adulthood.

Below I’ve included some additional resources for parents to help them educate preschool and elementary school children about the Bible. You can guide your children through scripture – building them up in essential truths without also having to deal with subjects like gouging out eyes, adultery, murder, etc.

Bibles for Preschoolers

The Jesus Storybook Bible is arguably the best children’s bible. It’s very narrative and makes a good Bible for preschool. Every story points back to Jesus. If you choose to, you can read over advent starting December 1st. 24 stories will lead you up to the Christmas story on December 25th.

God Made All Of Me is a great book celebrating God as creator and our bodies as special. It does a great job explaining body boundaries. Do beware that there is heavier content within the book directed to parents, so I don’t leave it unattended for the kids to explore on their own.

I’m a big fan of smaller board books for the littlest ones. I’ve included some books we have by Patricia A. Pingry and Sally Lloyd Jones. I’ve also come across several of the books below for a great price (less than $5) at Ross.

 

         

Music 
Songs for Saplings by Dana Dirksen – catechizing through song on Spotify
Wee Sing Bible Songs 1 and – scripture set to music on Spotify
Big Stories for Little Ones – available on Amazon (streaming free if you have Prime)
And Hidden In My Heart is the top rated audio CD for Scriptures set to music on Amazon     

Best Children’s Bibles for Elementary Aged Kids

Books & Other Print
It’s recommended to go through a catechism with your kids. It distills the foundations of faith.
Here’s a pdf of one adapted from the Westminster Catechism for Children.

Here are some great books for reading the Bible to young kids – they are parable based.
Parables Jesus Told – also separated into 5 smaller books as Read Aloud Bible Stories

Once your kids start elementary school, there is an organization called Moms In Prayer that I’d recommend joining or starting at your local school. They go through this book praying over kids, teachers, and school weekly throughout the school year. Of course it’s a great read / prayer book anytime.
You can also download prayer sheets from their website.

Music
Seeds Family Worship – Scripture memorization palatable to most age groups on Spotify
Go Fish has some great Kid’s worship music – streams free on Amazon Prime.

Music Videos to Dance Along With – on youtube
Here’s Go Fish’s YouTube Channel.

Some favorites of my kids from VBS’s
Lifetree Kids is full of great stuff… Here’s their youtube channel
And some of our favorite CD’s / DVDs from them
Maker Fun Factory 2017 
Cave Quest 2016 
My Hope Is In The Lord is my personal favorite song

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0 Comments

  1. Emily | To Unearth says:

    While I don’t have kids of my own yet, I have thought about this concept! The Bible certainly doesn’t hold back on some gruesome details! These are wonderful pointers you have here. 🙂

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      I definitely got a lot from the other moms. So thankful for community!

  2. Annie says:

    We love the Jesus Storybook Bible! I feel like it’s perfect for adults, too. 😉 I remember reading that the nativity story is developmentally appropriate for preschoolers, so if we focus on that alone, we’re setting a good foundation as they grow. It’s a reminder to me, too that the story of Jesus is my foundation.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Definitely thankful for the Jesus Storybook Bible… wish I had that growing up!

  3. Nancy E. Head says:

    A great post for a touchy subject for some. I love the way Veggie Tales has handles such stories as David and Bathsheba. There are creative ways to convey truth that are age-appropriate. Thanks for a great post! God bless!

  4. Christina Dronen says:

    I like veggie tales too! I should’ve mentioned those – but I just assume most people are familiar.

  5. Lynn says:

    My eldest sister, now almost 65, still remember the illustrated Samson bible story from her elementary days that scared her. Children sure latch on to pictures at young ages! Important resources for parents and grandparents of young children. Thank you!

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Lynn – that’s amazing that at 65 that’s what still stands out to her. It’s too bad & a testament to the importance of keeping the Spirit and truth of Christ front and center. Christ was the bringer of peace – not fear.

  6. Melinda Viergever Inman says:

    Thank you for this, Christina! I have grandchildren, and some of these books I’ve purchased, but most I hadn’t heard about. I now know where to do my shopping! And you provided great links right to Amazon. Much appreciated!

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      You’re welcome! I wish I had known more about them when my older ones were younger!

  7. Edna Davidsen says:

    Dear Christina!
    Happy to revisit your blog. . .
    This is a topic I’ve talked with some friends about a few days ago.
    It a great idea to mean with other mums as you do and discuss these kinds matters.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    Edna Davidsen.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Other moms are such a treasure to have alongside me!

  8. Melissa Henderson says:

    Glad to know there are good resources to share with our grandson. 🙂 Thank you for this information.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      You’re welcome!

  9. Nate Hultz says:

    Christina,
    that was great. As a pastor and a father to two three-year-olds, our whole focus right now is Jesus. We really don’t get into the Old Testament much at all because we live in the New Covenant. As they get older we will begin introducing them to it. But we want to look at the Old Testament with the lens of Christ and knowing that was designed specifically for the nation of Israel. Not them. I think then they will eventually be able to understand war, death, fighting, etc. Because they see how much God really loves us.
    Those are some good links for all of us to look at. Thank you.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Nate
      Absolutely agree! “Through the lens of Christ” is how it’s all meant to be seen. And how can they have the lens of Christ if we don’t start there!?
      When I was really young I set out to the read the Bible w/ no guidance – so I started in Genesis “of course”.. then I’d give up by Numbers or sooner and felt like I needed to start over again. So I never made it any further. I would’ve been much more blessed if I had started in the Gospel!

  10. Marcie Cramsey says:

    Christina, I am so glad you have shared these resources with us and parents.
    In light of this topic I am reminded of what Jesus said to his disciples about what he would share with them and what he withheld, “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now” (John‬ ‭16:12‬).
    Jesus was sensitive to what his followers could handle. As parents we must develop the same sensitivity when it comes to reading the Bible to our kids.
    We never want to rob our children of the goodness of God by leaving them with horrible pictures in their mind that they are not ready to understand.
    Nor would we want to rob them of the innoncene of childhood before they are ready to face the realities of Jeremiah 17:9.
    As our children develop we must give them God’s truth in such a way that draws them toward the Father not scare them away.
    Good read! Great topic!

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Marcie,
      You have such a great point here! That verse does say it well….
      “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now” (John‬ ‭16:12‬).
      Jesus was definitely about timing and about what was appropriate or best for his listeners. I think the parables are a great example of that too.
      I do think the stories of all these things – murder, prostitution, etc are meant to be encouragement for the reader who might feel their own sin is too big to be forgiven. It’s meant to show that God uses a willing heart, not a perfect heart.
      But for children, it can be their first exposure to traumatic things. I don’t think that’s the intent of the Word – it’s the GOOD news, not the BAD news. All the darkness can become a distraction for the kids.
      It’s so strange to me the stories that have become “Children’s” Bible stories.. who decided that and when?

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