Children love stories. We all love stories. Good stories engage our minds and hearts as they subtly teach us morals of courage, honesty or many other qualities. Stories powerfully demonstrate the results of good or bad choices and of right or wrong ways of life. Stories are powerful teaching tools.
Most of us remember hearing stories at bedtime or naptime. Many of us had a favorite story we loved to hear again and again as a child. The story engaged our imagination or plucked our heartstrings, evoking strong feelings of love and sympathy, or exoneration and justice, or mystery and excitement.
The beauty of stories is that they can be understood on different levels. A child will understand them in a childlike perspective of limited knowledge and experience, while an adult will be able to understand the same story on a much deeper level.
Stories can be highly illustrative of abstract ideas or qualities and can portray concepts and principles in a memorable but simplistic way that may otherwise be very difficult to express, especially in terms that little children are able to understand.
As children, we probably did not realize that the stories were teaching us morality and building desirable traits in our hearts and minds and characters.
In a New York Times article dated May 5, 2010, the author, Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale, told about several psychological studies conducted at the Infant Cognition Center at Yale University that explored the moral life of babies. Babies exhibit a rudimentary moral sense of what is nice, or what is not. Experiments demonstrate that babies have a naïve level of judgment of right and wrong, a notion of fairness and an innate capacity or inclination for sympathy and compassion.
Even if babies have a rudimentary capacity, morality must be learned. It is and will be learned culture, life experience and training. But that is only a human level of morality that varies from culture to culture.
When Adam and Eve took of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God said of them: “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22). However, what one man thinks he knows about what is good and evil does not agree with the next man’s ideas of good and evil. Every person seems to want to determine what is good and what is evil for himself or herself. So human “morality” varies from culture to culture and is influenced by its religions, its education, its societies and cultures. It is the “way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).
A man may think it right to hate his enemy, to get revenge, to settle the score and many other ideas contrary to the way of life described by Jesus Christ in the Bible. True Godly morality must be learned from the Creator God, and it is revealed in the pages of His divinely inspired Bible.
That is why telling or reading Bible stories will give children God’s perspective of what is right and wrong, of what is just and right and true. God commands us: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6–7).
Contact us today to order your free copy of Bible Study Course, and the booklet: Successful Parenting: God’s Way. Sharing Bible stories with your young children will impart understanding and knowledge of what God says is right and what is wrong, and what is true morality.