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Questions and Answers | Teaching Difficult Passages to Children

As I read the Bible, I realize that often the sins of some of the characters are covered up or not dealt with honestly. When teaching children, how should teachers handle difficult passages?

While I don’t know what passages you have in mind, I resonate with your question. Certainly, children don’t need to be given graphic details, but they do need to understand the character of God and His dealings with sin in ways that make an impression and point to His expectations and holiness. I think we don’t take teaching children seriously enough. I have seen too much casual preparation of dull materials for children when they should be taught with the same care and theological understanding as in teaching adults.

If children are not engaged early, they may not choose Christianity later, finding it shallow, predictable, and less interesting than other things. My mother made the Old Testament come alive; we followed what kings did evil in the sight of the Lord and what kings did well and why. As another example, in 1 Samuel, Eli was not just a nice old priest who had bad luck with his children; he was passive, did not correct his son’s blasphemous behavior, and his lineage was cut off permanently. It’s a story about bad parenting and spiritual sloth. Hannah, in the same book, was utterly courageous, devout, and sacrificial. About her son it is said: “The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground” (1 Sam. 3:19). Teaching children must be done with imagination, truth, and personal conviction.

BY Dr. Rosalie de Rosset

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over five decades. She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. Rosalie is a published author, respected speaker, and talented writer. She lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.

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