If a child asked, “What’s the Bible all about?” how would you answer? This could be more difficult than you think. … “Uh, well, the Bible is about … God, Jesus, sin, salvation, … going to heaven … being good … doctrine.” All those are important, yet none qualify as the Bible’s “big idea.”
Part of the problem is how we’ve come to view the Bible. We see sixty-six separate books instead of one story—God’s Story. Because we’ve not been clear on this ourselves, we’ve not been able to make it clear to our children. As a result, kids raised in the church hear a lot of Bible stories. But rarely do they see how these fit together into one story. In other words, we teach Bible stories, but not the Bible’s Story.
So what is the Bible all about? Simply this—God wants to live in friendship (relationship) with us both now and forever. We see this in Genesis where God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and in Revelation: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them”(Revelation 21:3).
What God Has Always Wanted highlights God’s desire to live with His people using a kid-friendly storyline. This overview of the Bible will help you and your child see what the Bible is really all about.
Chances are, what God has always wanted is what you want for your child, too. At the end of the story, your child may wonder: Am I one of God’s friends? At this point, read the “What About You?” section. It sets you up to invite your child into a relationship with God using simple, accurate language.
The importance of simple, accurate language can’t be stressed enough. I understand how in simplifying the gospel for kids, we tend to share a few truths and then urge children to “ask Jesus into your heart.” This approach is well-intended, but it may confuse children. Nowhere does the Bible say “ask Jesus into your heart.” Since children think concretely, they often picture a miniature Jesus coming into a valentine-shaped heart. This metaphor can make the gospel unclear.
But Jesus’s invitation is clear. We receive eternal life by “believing in Him.”* If children know what it means to trust a friend to keep a promise, then they can understand what it means to trust Jesus to keep His promise to forgive our sins and give us life forever. His forgiveness allows us to live in friendship with God, which ties right back into to the big idea of the Bible.
As you re-read this book, questions will arise. What is faith? What happens when you die? What will heaven be like? When these questions come, refer to the read-aloud definitions in the glossary. These will help you explain Bible concepts in a simple, clear way.
May God bless you as you lead your children in their journey toward faith.