Children Learn from the Bible

What Children Learn

Children love stories. David’s conquest of Goliath is a favorite bible story for many children. I know it was for me. I had my own slingshot, but unknown to me, mine was a lot different from his.

My slingshot was made of two strips of rubber cut from an old innertube [do cars still use those things in tires nowadays?]. It had a leather patch, and a handle that looked like a Y. That part was cut from a fork in a tree branch.

One end of each rubber strip was fastened to a prong on the Y. The other end to the leather patch. Thus, the patch became known as the pocket where the projectile was placed. The projectile could be a marble, an old rust nut if it were large enough, or a pebble if you could find one the right shape.

The projectile was placed in the pocket. The pocket was drawn back, stretching the rubber strips. You aimed through the Y and let go. The projectile flew from the pocket toward it’s intended target.

We felt we were as ready for Goliath as David had been. No one I knew was as expert as the seven hundred left-handed slingers mentioned in Judges 20.16 “each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.” And no one I knew could use one of their slingshots.

The seven hundred were called slingers because that is the way their slingshots worked. It was composed of the pocket, but instead of rubber, which, of course, they didn’t have, the pocket was fastened to two lengths of cord. The two ends were held in the hand, the stone was whirled around, and at the right moment, the end of one cord was released and the projectile flew out of the pocket at a tremendous velocity.

I spend all this time on sling shots for one purpose. Just as a child might have one mistaken image like the use of the slingshot, so might the child carry other more harmful notions from childhood bible stories. The slingshot misunderstanding might not be serious. Other misconceptions, however could have lasting effects. {For more information on "fixes" for such negative experiences as adversity, fear, and anger, I recommend Edward Verheyden's page .]

Children Learn from Jesus

Children must learn from Jesus. Risking a negative reaction, let's consider one area that is only in our time being addressed effectively. And that not without some choler. Begin the point by looking at the action of Jesus. It may be wrong, but do you think anyone seriously believes Jesus disparaged women in general?

When women were taken to him with accusations, Jesus confronted the women's accusers with their own failings. The one event that most often comes to mind when this idea is raised, is the incident of the woman taken in adultery. The one used as a means of trapping Jesus.

The Law said such a woman was to be stoned. If Jesus said, “Stone her according to Law,” those who had been following him and seeing what a great example of love he was would say, “We were mistaken. He’s just like all the rest of the Pharisees.” They would have left him.

On the other hand, if Jesus said, “Spare her,” the Scribes, Pharisees and Temple authorities would have screamed, “Blasphemy! He’s counseling against upholding the Law.”

As we remember, Jesus met this attempt to trap him with the statement, “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.” One Bible teacher claims the words properly translated are, “Let the one without this sin cast the first stone,” Be that as it may, the point is that Jesus’s words to the woman were, “I don’t condemn you.”

Throughout the ministry of Jesus, he showed no discrimination toward women. Yet, many feel the bible devalues women, so they also are devalued from the family cook-stove to the corporate executive-desks.

Passages like those which describe Eve as the second human creation, made from Adam’s rib, no less, and Delilah’s treachery, are used to denigrate women.

What can be done with women can be done in other areas of life. Lambs are to be slaughtered, goats driven from the camp, and even children sacrificed.

Simply telling stories is not enough. Children also must be taught.

Conclusion of Children and the Bible

And if toes have been stepped on in making this point, remember, Jesus said love your enemies. Forgive those who despitefully use you. And “I have not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it.

This he did, not with judgement, but with love.

“Go, thou, and do likewise.”