When reading the Bible as a family, use these 5 questions that help kids apply Bible stories to their lives. . .
Reading Bible stories with your children is a wonderful way to make memories with them, isn’t it? I can still remember the books my Mom read and how she would show us the pictures after she finished reading the page. The Bible story set we owned held 5 stories in each volume and if me and my 3 younger siblings were good listeners, Mom would read at least 2 stories each night before bed. We looked forward to this time together and I’m guessing bedtime reading, or anytime Bible story reading, is richly enjoyed by your family, too.
In reflecting on my childhood, the thing I remember about Mom’s reading was that she was so great at asking us questions about our thoughts on the story. At the time, I thought she was just having fun with us, but now that I’m mom to 7, I know she was purposefully teaching us truths for living.
She would ask these 5 questions to help us learn how to apply Bible stories to our lives.
5 Questions that Help Kids Apply Bible Stories to Their Lives
- What would you do in that situation?
I can remember her asking this question specifically about Jonah and the whale. I’m sure she asked it about other characters as well, but she wanted us to think about making decisions, especially when we faced difficult circumstances.
- What do you think this looked like?
Whether it was a raven flying down to give Elisha food or the Red Sea parting for the children of Israel, she often gave us time to describe what the scene looked like in our heads. This helped us relate to the story on our own level, as well as gave her the hint as to if we were listening
- What if that happened today?
I can remember this question being asked during the story of King Nebuchadnezzar making all people worship the golden image he created or be thrown into the fiery furnace. Asking this question allows for conversation about making decisions and considering Bible stories in modern context. I can’t think of a more poignant question to ask our children as we read Bible stories.
- What can we learn from this?
Now depending on how sleepy we were, the answer to this question could be short and sweet or very long and dramatic. So, you may want to evaluate the time before you ask this question to your children! But seriously, children usually say what they are thinking and this question can really draw out the Bible principles in ways you can’t imagine.
- What do you want to remember from this story?
My mom would always help us with the answer to this one after we had given our answers. Since we only had 5 volumes of these stories, when we made it back to reading the same story again, she would ask, “Do you remember the answer to this question from the last time we read this story?” Sometimes I would think about the stories for quite some time before I fell asleep. I once dreamed about the children of Israel eating their manna and in my dream, manna had sprinkles! (I don’t think that was something my mom was trying to help us remember.)
You may not find every question above useful for your child, depending on age or understanding, but my encouragement to you is to begin using at least one of these questions in your Bible story time and see what a difference it makes.
If you’re looking for a good Bible story book, try 5 Minute Nighttime Bible Stories! These brief Bible stories will allow you to spend precious time with your kids before bedtime, naps, or meals. With its to-the-point wording and calming artwork, the 5-Minute Nighttime Bible Stories book is a great option for parents who look for ways to integrate the Bible into their busy schedules. Short stories and gentle, colorful illustrations make this a great Bible and a quick story for families before bedtime.
What are your favorite questions to ask when reading Bible stories with your kids?
Happy Bible story reading!