Ask your children if they would like to hear the story just as the Lord tells it. Then pick up the Bible – not an electronic version, but the paper and binding kind – and read the narrative again, marking in the text as you go along where you might go back and reinforce the truths that rise above the storyline.
There are many opportunities to do this with some of the most-loved stories of the Bible. Here are some suggestions: Jonah’s trip in the belly of the big fish and the truth that is expressed in John 12:24 (question: what must die in us?); God’s cutting in two the sacrifice while Abraham was in the trance and Romans 2:29 (question: who does the cutting and why is this important?); the many references to sheep throughout the Bible and the direct correlation of sheep to the followers of Christ in John 10 (question: what makes a sheep a sheep?).
Ponder a portion from the best known Bible story of all, the account of the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary, which was our Bible story from this Sunday’s children’s lesson in our ongoing discussion of the Trinity (see more about that lesson here). In it, the Triune God is revealed in the announcement to the young maid:
…You have found favor with God [the Father]…. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High [the Father]. And the Lord God [the Father] will give to Him [the Son] the throne.... The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High [the Father] will overshadow you; therefore the child [the Son] will be called holy – the Son of God” (Luke 1:30-37).
Do you think it was an accident that Gabriel was so explicit in his word choice and exhaustive in his explanation of how God would be involved in this miraculous occurrence? The Triune God executed and affected this most crucial event in history so that believers would know that all of the Godhead was in agreement and took part. And if it’s important for me to know this, it’s important for my children to hear it from an early age and to see it as an essential point of truth. As to how much of it they understand, first, that is up to the Lord’s moving mercifully and mightily in their hearts, and second, they will comprehend more and more as they grow and they hear it discussed over and over while living under my roof.
Don’t shrink back from teaching what may appear to be heavy doctrine. Look back at that passage from Luke or the others and uncover more lovely doctrines to share with your children. You may be surprised to discover what even the littlest ones can comprehend!