Bring the Bible to Life!

I have fond memories of acting out Bible stories with my family as a kid. Back in those days, Sunday afternoons were often spent re-enacting the plagues of Egypt, the defeat of Jericho, Zacchaeus climbing a tree to see Jesus, and more. For me and my brothers, the stories of the Judges were always our favorites, like Gideon’s nighttime attack on the Midianites, Ehud burying his dagger in King Eglon’s belly, and Samson taking out masses of quickly re-spawning Philistines with his stuffed-sock “jawbone.”

Bringing the Bible to life

Now that I have kids of my own, I’m discovering that Bible drama is one of the best ways to get young children excited about the Bible. They may not sit still for Bible reading very long, but if you give them a chance to get up and act out the story themselves, they will engage with God’s Word on a whole new level. If you haven’t tried Bible drama in your home, there are many reasons to give it a try, especially if you have young ones in your family.

How Bible drama can benefit your children:

  • It can help them pay better attention and listen for details when you read the Bible.
  • It may lead to questions and better understanding of the stories.
  • They will remember the stories much better after acting them out with you.
  • It helps them to see the character of God and the pattern of His faithfulness throughout history.
  • They’ll see the consequences of man’s decisions as played out in Scripture.
  • It helps them think through and better understand Scripture passages (especially the Proverbs).
  • Acting out stories is often more engaging for everyone, especially boys, extra-active children, and kinesthetic learners.
  • Drama brings the Bible to life! Children realize that the people in Scripture were real people living real lives, just like us.
  • You’ll create fun family memories as everyone learns and plays together.
  • As your children grow older, they may also find ways to bless others through Bible drama, including mission work, outreach, and church programs.

While you’re having fun with Bible drama, remember the ultimate goal. We want our children to know God – as He reveals Himself in His Word – and believe in Him. This is why God tells us to instruct our children. This is why He gave us such rich stories to share. That’s what I’m praying for, for my kids and yours.

 

Do your boys enjoy acting out Bible stories? Do they have a favorite story?

You may also enjoy Get Kids to Love Bible Study or Doorposts’ Bible Drama Video Contest.

Finding Meaning in Work


I aspire, as I’m sure you do, to instill in my sons a strong work ethic. To take seriously the call of the apostle Paul: “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17).

God has called us to work hard, to put our all into everything that we do, doing it “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” In the context of Colossians 3, Paul is describing the marks of the Christian life, the list of things we are to “put on” after we have “put off” sin. A strong work ethic, a life which moves away from inactivity or laziness, should be a distinctive feature in the life of every follower of Christ. This call to work hard is sandwiched between two commands for us to express thankfulness to God. Without extrapolating too far, I think it’s safe to say that God has given us the privilege of working: that even though the work we do may not be fulfilling to us, it is a gift from God to be able to work, to accomplish and succeed. Work is a gift.

Finding-meaning-in-work

To be frank, I don’t always (or often) recognize that. Perhaps, like me, you’re in a job that’s got nothing to do with your training or abilities, that is seemingly menial or insignificant. A job that just (sort of) pays the bills. A job that you do just because, well, you need to work.

How do you give thanks for that?

At the beginning of time, when God first created the world, He instituted work for man: tend the garden, see to it, work the ground. I can only assume that this work brought satisfaction to Adam, the first man. I can only imagine the feeling of accomplishment he experienced after a day of labor, tending to the garden in which God had placed him. Of course, Adam and Eve sinned, and work became difficult, even painful, for mankind.

Maybe you feel that difficulty every day of your work life. Maybe your work seems trivial, or your circumstances stifling. Maybe your job isn’t enough to cover your bills each month. Take heart; you are not called to be successful, or to be fulfilled by your work, or even to enjoy it. Only to offer it to God. To work at it with all your heart, as working to the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Sometimes, that is a small comfort, or perhaps no comfort at all. But if Scripture tells us one thing throughout its entire narrative about work, it’s that God rewards faithfulness. To the one who is faithful in the small things, He entrusts the greater things.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about work in the past few years is this: No work is meaningless. Even if it’s cleaning pools, finishing basements, being a security guard (all of which I’ve done), or something else that doesn’t display significant results. No work is meaningless.

That is, if it is rendered to God. If it is done for His glory, seeking His ends and how He would use us in whatever situation we find ourselves. God is not concerned with the title of our position; He is concerned with the position of our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7).

One final note, something that hit me only yesterday. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, He looked at His work and declared it good. The results of His work were good: they were worthwhile and significant. Do you know, fellow father, that no matter our jobs, we can say the same thing for our work? When we strive to bring God the glory through our work, when we work without complaining (Philippians 2:14), when we offer our work as a sacrifice to God…

We can look at the most difficult, or insignificant, or overwhelming task, and say that it is good.

 

Empowering Creativity in Our Sons

I love watching my son create- seeing him scribble all over a piece of paper and promptly declare that the Jackson Pollock-worthy piece is “Daddy.” Or watching him form pieces of play dough into balls, or seeing him build towers out of Duplo pieces. Most of all, I love when he finds my percussion lying randomly around the house, and starts to sing to his own accompaniment.

And I am reminded that this boy is, every day, a creator. Whether he knows it at this stage or not, the little man is demonstrating the very nature of God.

You see, we are created. Made, formed, shaped- however you like to say it, God created us. And when He did, He left the imprint of Himself on our nature. In short, God made us to relate to, and to mirror, Himself. Part of Himself that He implanted in us is the ability to create- just like He did.

empowering creativity in our sons

Children have an innate grasp of creativity, perhaps partly because they are learning so much every day. They live in an undisguised sense of wonder, in an uninhibited (if unaware) appreciation of the beauty of Christ. Everywhere they look is a new mystery, a thing to be uncovered and understood. This is a representation of God’s nature in His creation: Always a new mystery; always a new understanding.

But it goes further still. The beauty of God is in Christ. I rarely think in these terms, to be honest. When I think of who Christ is, I’m not sure my first thought has ever been, “Beautiful.” Think with me, though: God created the world, and declared it good. He filled everything He made with beauty. He created us; thus, in us, there is beauty. But we are broken, sinful, and dead because of our sins. Yet 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Our beauty is restored because Christ has recreated us. Creation brings beauty. The Creator gives His beauty to us. And we, in turn, can give that beauty to our creations.

We learn so much of the nature of God in creativity. We see His wisdom; we see His imagination. We come to understand that God pours Himself into us- His love, His heart, His passion- just as we pour into our creations. And it gives to us such a sense of security, of resting in the Hands that formed you, formed you not impassively or coldly, but with the greatest care and the most sincere desire for your good. When I create, I discover what it means to be loved by the Creator.

I want my sons to find these treasures, to find safety and security in knowing Who made them and the care He took in making them. And I want them to experience for themselves- to find a passion for creativity, in whatever manifestations, that will allow them to explore and make and feel the nature that comes from God Himself.

It would be so easy to impose my understanding of creativity on my sons. Music, literature, and story strike deep, resonant notes in me that lead me to pursue God’s beauty. But it may not be so for them. Their passions may lie more analytically, more physically, than mine do. “The Arts” as we know them don’t monopolize creativity. And it is my job, as their father, to steer them not toward my sense of creativity, but toward their own- wherever that may lie. To steer them toward that passion in their lives that will cause them to pursue the beauty in this world, and- more importantly- the Beauty that put it here.

May I never be guilty of imposing my understanding of God’s beauty on my sons.

May I never so force them into my own mold that they give up the pursuit of becoming beautiful as He is.

May our sons ever be in pursuit of the Divine Beauty, creatively exploring how the Beauty has imprinted Himself in this natural world, and seeking an ever-deepening knowledge of Him through His perfect creative acts.

 

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