(This chart really helped me as I grasped using Scripture to point my boys to Christ and I can honestly say that doing this comes so much more naturally for me now. I'm so thankful that so many others found it helpful as well. This one comes in at number 7...)
So, after yesterdays post about moral parenting vs. Christian parenting, you may feel a little like I did.
I thought, "Okay, I think I get the point and I think I agree, but I don't even know where to begin." (Well, it wasn't quite that easy and quick. It took a while for the blow my ego took to recover and for the guilty/defensive feeling to subside. It also took lots of prayer and several long conversations with my hubby. Then I started to agree! :)
Looking for glimpses of the gospel throughout Scripture is still new enough to me that it doesn't come too easily. The most obvious resource that came to mind as I pondered how to spend more time focusing on Jesus as I taught my boys Scripture was The Jesus Storybook Bible. Her subtitle captures the reason perfectly: Every Story Whispers His Name. We love it so much that we used it as our first giveaway on this blog. (You can read our review here.) We SO think you should put this book on your Christmas list if you do not already have it. Every time we read it, it encourages our hearts so much.
My sad, sad lament is that Isaac is not too into The Jesus Storybook Bible.... YET! (I'm hoping he just needs a bit more time!) He just turned 3 last week and the book is targeted for ages 4 and up. It's a little over his head right now, but I'm hoping on his 4th birthday, he sees the light and it becomes his favorite children's Bible! :) For now, his favorite is the NIrV Read with Me Bible. It's actually really good as well and has wonderful illustrations and stories that pretty much stick to the text.
But here's my problem. I WANT to point out the gospel theme to him when we discuss a story we've read, but I usually can't THINK of how it relates in the moment. (If you read our blog long enough, you'll find that a recurring theme is that I'm not quick on my feet... sigh... I'm the girl who can always think of what I should have said 2 days later). SO, if you're anything like me, I have good news! I made myself a little cheat sheet and I'm sharing it with you!
I used the brilliant insight that Lloyd-Jones shares in many of the stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible and wrote a quick sentence or two summarizing the gospel theme in that story. (I didn't do all of the stories, but relied heavily on her perspectives for the ones I did. Bottom line: You still need the book for the ones I left out and for the beautiful and poetic renderings that I didn't do justice in my 2 sentence summaries! :) I'm going to keep the chart in the front of Isaac's current favorite Bible and when we discuss a story, I'll check it and see if the story we just read corresponds to one of the stories on the chart.
I also used The Big Picture Story Bible for a few of the explanations. It is also excellent and would correspond super well with the God's Big Picture Curriculum we've been posting. It gives a basic overview of the storyline of the Bible and how it all points to God's plan of redeeming his people through Jesus Christ.
I really hope this chart is helpful to you and makes you feel more confident as you try to teach you little ones. I'm hoping that as I practice looking for the beauty of the gospel throughout Scripture and strive to see how every story whispers his name that I'll get better at recognizing how different stories from the Bible fit into God's bigger plan.
To print the chart, click here.
You might be interested in checking out the other posts from our Gospel-Centered Parenting series:
Introduction: A Major Shift in My Parenting Mindset
Part 1: Back to the Basics
Part 2: Moral Parenting vs. Christian Parenting
Part 3: Instilling a Realistic View of Self
Part 4: How Gospel-Centered Parenting is Looking for Us on a Practical Level