What the Bible and a Roller Coaster Safety Bar Have in Common
I wasn't sure what to make of the Bible growing up.
Aside from the huge family Bible that collected dust on the top shelf of a hall closet, my only exposure to the Story of God was the illustrated kid's Bible I occasionally leafed through in my doctor's waiting room.
I found the picture of Eve rather beautiful...but the rest seemed rather confusing.
That uneasiness only grew as I grew, as I perceived the Bible to merely be an intimidating list of what I "should" do. Others in my life confused things further by saying, "God's watching you, and he doesn't like how you break his commandments."
The Bible is full of direction and truth, but it's so much more than a way to get on God's "naughty list."
I wished I could have gotten better clarity on this from my parents, but they were as confused as I was. They grew up being told not that the Bible was reserved solely for priests and pastors and not to read it.
It's as if we were all stuck being confused by the Bible, from generation to generation.
Fortunately I had a breakthrough.
In high school, a friend took the time to explain who Jesus is and what he did for me. I still remember being handed my first Bible by one of my youth group leaders who said, "This is yours to own. Own it well."
Now as a parent, I'm attempting to give my kids a better relationship with the words of God so they can better know Jesus as the Word of God.
My favorite metaphor is how the tough stuff in the Bible is like a roller coaster safety bar clicking into place over us. While those on the outside may perceive it as a restrictive contraption built by men, those on the inside know that a caring designer put it together to keep us safe so the ride could be enjoyed as it was intended.
The Bible is not a confining contraption of should's - it's a freeing assembly of could's.
God knows that our families are going to face hills and twists in life. It's why he's taken the time to put something tangible in place so we can launch our arms up in the air in joy because we have the assurances of his promises over us.
It's the thought behind 3 John 1:4 which says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
This isn’t just something God experiences as we trust in him through his words; it’s something we can experience as parents by loving and leading our kids into the Bible.
I said it this way in the intro to my book, A Faith Of Their Own:
Do more than “have devotions” with your preteen. Let this be a new kind of adventure. Take turns leading the discussions or responding to the questions. Talk about recent sermons you have heard, other things you’re reading or wondering about, various ways you’re praying, music you’re listening to, and more. You’ll do more than merely evolve as your preteen’s guide in this endeavor. Chances are that you will actually guide your preteen(s) into being able doing to engage the story of God on their own.
What was the Bible like for you growing up? How do you see it now?