Dear parent, God has given you his word so that you might be instructed and have hope through the endurance and encouragement of the word (Romans 15:4). And this is the instruction and hope that your dear children need: the instruction and hope of God’s word.
Parents of young children feel the pressure of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he shall not depart from it.” This word of encouragement can easily be twisted to a word of guilt—as if my children’s belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and their love for his word and his saints is all up to me.
But there’s good news: you, dear parent, you are not alone! God has given you his word, and wherever God’s word is, there Jesus is! God is with you in his word.
Here are five books that can help you give your children the word of God and the faith that comes through hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Make a routine of reading books like these—or the very words of the Bible—with your children. You may not see it right away, but you’re planting the seeds of God’s word in your children’s heart (Mk. 4:26–32; Is. 55:10–11).
1. The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible
Age range: 2–5 years old (Click to View Product)
There’s no shortage of children’s storybook Bibles, but The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible stands out among the crowd. In short, friendly, and bright prose, Jared Kennedy recounts fifty-two Bible stories (twenty-six from the Old Testament and twenty-six from the New Testament). Every story ends by pointing to Jesus: how does this story show our Lord Jesus and the good news that he forgives our sins and gives us his life through his death and resurrection. Trish Mahoney’s vibrant illustrations provide children enough to look at and wonder while they listen.
Each story takes about two minutes to read, so it’s easy to read a whole story every day. (Although my own children like to interact with some of the stories and so sometimes it’s more like three or four minutes.) Jared’s words help draw out the reader in every parent—helping us to read with energy and excitement.
2. Jesus and the Lions’ Den: A True Story about How Daniel Points Us to Jesus
Age range: 3–6 years old (Click to View Product)
Each book in the The Good Book Company’s Tales That Tell the Truth series presents a simple and friendly biblical theology—sometimes by telling a specific Bible story (e.g. when Jesus calmed the storm), sometimes by presenting the full arc of the Bible (e.g. creation, fall, redemption), sometimes by focusing on a Christian practice (e.g. prayer). All of the books are filled with Catalina Echeverri’s vibrant colors and inviting imagery!
In Jesus and the Lion’s Den, Alison Mitchell shows children and their parents how to read the Bible as a book that gives us Jesus. Mitchell walks through the story of Daniel being sent to and delivered from the lions’ den. Throughout the story Escheverri has hidden a lion symbol that lets readers know a “Jesus moment” is present. The book ends by setting each Jesus moment in the story of Daniel next to a story from Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Now parents and their children can try finding the Jesus moments in the Bible on their own!