"Mom, I know what I want for Christmas," my daughter proclaimed one afternoon.
"Oh yea," I said. "What's that?"
"A leather-bound Bible," came her eager reply. "I know I already have a Bible, but it's beginning to fall apart and I'd really like a leather one."
And while this is not the typical wish list of most nine-year-old girls, it's not surprising that a new Bible is only one of three items my daughter has added to hers.
Why am I not surprised that in a society wrought with entitlement issues and "I've got to have the next big thing" attitude my nine-year-old desires a Bible for Christmas? Because Scripture reminds me in Galatians 6:7 that whatever I sow, I will reap.
For the past nine years of parenthood, The Hubs and I have made it a priority to cultivate a passion for God and His Word in our children...to sow a love for God in order that we will have the blessing of reaping a love for God. We have, certainly, not been perfect in our attempts. There have been many times when we have helped to water an attitude of GIMME in our children. But, with a heart to see them SEEK AFTER GOD WITH ABANDON, we have prayerfully sought intentional ways to develop a passion and love for Him within our home.
Last year, I shared one of the ways we cultivate faith when I mentioned our Christmas Gift of Myrrh. This treasured tradition has opened the door to building an eagerness...a delight...in learning of God. We have seen our children get just as excited over receiving a new Bible or a worship CD for Christmas as they have when unwrapping the latest IT toy. Why? Because we place value on gifts that have value....long-term, eternal value.
Since beginning our Myrrh pattern, we have given many faith-building gifts. Some have been more successful than others at fostering a desire to know more about God and His Word. While this is not an exhaustive list, here are my TOP 10 faith-building presents for kids.
- The Big Picture Story Bible- This children's story book Bible recounts the unified theme of God's love and redemptive work throughout the entirety of Scripture. I highly recommend this story book Bible for anyone...man, woman, or child...who wants to know about God's big picture plan for mankind.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible- As the subtitle suggest, this slightly more-wordy story book shows how every story in Scripture whispers the name of Jesus.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible Animated DVD series- This is an animated series based on The Jesus Storybook Bible. (Don't tell him, but this is what The Newbie will be getting for his gift of Myrrh this year!)
- Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids- This large collection of Bible studies by Kay Arthur is one of the best in-depth, kid-friendly studies I've ever seen. No fluff, just bite-sized chunks of TRUTH...and yet, still captivating for kids.
- Seeds Family Worship CDs- This collection of 9 CDs is based entirely on Scripture. The upbeat, uplifting songs will no-doubt solidify Scriptural truth into the hearts and minds of your kids for years to come.
- Go Fish CDs- What do you get when you cross three dads and a desire to sing kid-friendly worship music...THE GO FISH GUYS! My kids love these CDs. We watch one of the GO FISH YouTube music videos at least once a week. So, it's not surprising that The Hubs and I have given many Go Fish gifts over the years.
- The Hear Me Read Bible- While this is not a phonetically-based reader Bible, it is the closest thing I have ever been able to find for early readers to be able to enjoy reading Scripture stories all by themselves.
- Adventures in Odyssey Eyewitness Collector's Set- As a homeschool mom, I'm not always a fan of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series as I think some of the story lines are more geared to public school dilemmas. However, I absolutely love the Eyewitness series which chronicles "eyewitness" accounts of Biblical events. The kids typically listen to these on long car rides or at bedtime. (One of my boys is getting the Adventures in Odyssey Truth Chronicles this year for his Myrrh Gift. It is a series of episodes designed to develop a Biblical World View.)
- What the Bible is All About Handbook for Kids- My daughter poured over this eclectic book for an entire year until it finally tore into three big chunks of book. It was a great introduction for basic Bible knowledge/background.
- Bible Trivia for Kids- We rarely ever play the game by the rules. We have the trivia question cards stashed in our minivan. They're a great addition to "family devos on the go" when we are taking long trips. By asking simple trivia questions, we have opened the floodgates for wonderfully thoughtful conversations of faith.