Helping Your Child Fall In Love with Genesis, Part 2
Empathy and understanding come hand in hand when you walk in another's shoes. Even though the Old Testament is, as the name implies, quite old, It seems hard to relate to at first, but with a little imagination, we can be transported there. Encourage your children to put themselves in the place of the Bible characters. Give them space to think about how they would have handled the situations that these men and women faced.
Remind them that the Bible just gives us the bare facts and that there was often more going on behind-the-scenes.
“Don’t you think Noah had questions when he was told to build the ark? Do you think he ever experienced doubts? Fears?”
These are the kind of questions you can explore with your children as you help them see the stories in scripture as real events with real people.
Remember that Genesis records stories about real history. One of the other errors that we fall into when teaching a book like Genesis is that we separate all the pieces so completely that we lose sight of how they connect. We know the individual stories but we’re not sure what part they play in the bigger story of salvation. Make sure that you keep the bigger story in mind. Point your children to what happened before and to what is going to happen after.
Remind them of how the characters in scripture are related to one another. Help them see that the Bible is not a collection of short stories. It’s one story that involves a collection of many, many people.
Remember that Genesis – and the rest of the Old Testament – is pointing to Jesus. In his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For as many as are the promises of God, in [Christ] they are yes.” All the promises that God gave his people in the Old Testament – starting with Genesis 3:15 and continuing to the very last verse of Malachi – find their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus and the Gospel.
If you want your children to fall in love with Genesis, you need to help them see why it matters. Note prophecies that are made there and fulfilled in Christ. Bring out parallels that we find between Old Testament characters and Jesus (for example, many parallels exist between the life of Joseph and that of Jesus).
And continually remind them that the Old Testament – including Genesis – is a record of humanity’s failures. And those failures remind us of our great need of God’s grace and a savior. Teaching Genesis with Jesus in mind will help your children see why this Old Testament book matters to us, as Christians.