“For by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
“I had not known sin, but by the law.”
I’ve been reading the Bible with my son for several years now, starting when he was about four. We read more today than we did back then as his reading ability and attention span have increased. We’re up to about a chapter a day.
I will admit that certain portions of the Bible I make sure I read out loud and I do skip some things. Human grossness is on display in the Bible, certain sins are described in fairly good detail that I don’t want him hearing.
Am I horrible for editing God’s Word? Isn’t all Scripture profitable for him?
I don’t know.
The law stirs up sin. Kids generally don’t think of evil stuff until their mom says, “Don’t start the cat on fire.” Wow, starting the cat on fire! Who would think of that? But now that we’ve been informed what sin is, boy howdy, where are those matches?
Parents need to use discretion when it comes to reading disturbing portions of Scripture. Use your own judgment as to what your kid is ready for. Those who are careful about letting kids watch television should be just as careful when it comes to reading about the very same acts taking place in scripture!
At the same time, if your kid is nearing adulthood and still doesn’t know how babies are made, Scripture will provide fairly good sex-ed. It’s one thing to be careful and wait for when you think your kid is ready to be educated, it’s another thing to keep your kid’s head buried in the sand.
Sin is gross, but it’s also the reality they will face. No sense forcing them into all sinful realities too early, but there’s also no sense in pretending sin doesn’t exist.
If you are facing this issue, pray about it. Be honest about sin and our fallen condition with kids. Apologize to them when they see you sin. Don’t just lecture them about sin, do they hear you ask for forgiveness? Read the Bible with them. Let them ask questions. Be as Job and intercede for your kids, they’re not as innocent as they can look. Use the Bible as though it were a two-edged sword in the hands of a child. They need your help, that’s why you have them.
(If you like this post, you may also enjoy my previous endeavor into the earth shaking question: is it OK to read the Bible in the bathroom?)