This is Day 20 in a 31 day series on Teaching Toddlers Theology. To catch up on where we've been, or view our menu of posts, go to this intro post.
Back when I was looking for a children's bible for Titus, I remember flipping through several to see what stories were included...and missing! I was disturbed that several children's Bibles left out the stories of the Fall and Christ's Crucifixion! I understand the desire to protect our kids from a subject matter that might be graphic or difficult to understand, but these are both stories that are foundational to our kids understanding of the Gospel! More on the Crucifixion later... However, how can kids understand Christ's death and sacrifice if they haven't first learned why it was necessary? The Fall is the foundation for understanding our need for a Savior. It's the first glimpse we have at hope and God's provision to redeem us from sin through His Son! It's the story where we first grapple with our own sinfulness and why we even need the story of Christ's death! We say that the first thing we must do in order to be saved, is to admit that we're a sinner. Well, it's the same with our kids! They need to know that they are sinners and Christ is the only hope! That God has a standard, but that he loves us and has made a way for us to be saved! All the boys in my Sunday School class know they "do bad things" and they'll list off all kinds of things that they do! :) That's the first step!
With Titus and with my SS class, I try to use the words that Scripture uses when explaining spiritual concepts. I've been teaching them the word "sin" since it's the word God uses. When I say, "doing bad things", I'll also say "sin", so that they understand that they are synonymous. "Sin" is so much more serious of a word and they need to understand that sin is a serious thing! God takes sin seriously and that's what the story of The Fall is all about! We can't miss teaching our kids this lesson!
The Fall teaches us a few more things about God, but it teaches us more of who we are as humans!
*God gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden to live in, with animals and food and fellowship with God
*Gad had a rule that he gave Adam and Eve- don't eat the fruit off of one tree!
*Adam and Eve disobeyed Him, so God had to punish them and they had to leave the Garden
*We make God sad when we disobey Him
*We all sin because of Adam and Eve
*But God has made a way through Christ...
Do you see that the story of the Fall leads right into the Gospel? We can't overlook this story, but must take the time to teach it because it is foundational to our kids understanding of themselves as sinners and their need for Christ!