New York (PRWEB) February 28, 2014
As "Son of God" hits theaters this weekend, many parents will struggle with how to explain the more difficult aspects of Jesus' life - such as the virgin birth and the crucifixion - to their children. Fortunately, American Bible Society's Children's Ministry Senior Advisor Margi McCombs is offering tips to help parents navigate the complicated conversations.
"The Bible is the grand narrative of God’s love for and pursuit of humankind," said McCombs. "But parts of that narrative are hard to understand and even emotionally gut-wrenching. It’s important that parents help their children experience the story of the Bible in general, and of Jesus in particular, in a positive way."
To that end, McCombs offers five tips for talking to children about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
1. Prepare them ahead of time. Don't wait for Easter or after a showing of "Son of God" to tell the story of Jesus to your children. When possible, don't try to do this all in one sitting. Plan ahead and take children through one portion of Jesus’ story per day over several days.
2. Provide historical context. Familiarize children with social, economic and medical conditions of First Century Palestine. Explain that crucifixion was used as a fairly common method for executing criminals at that time.
3. Anticipate and prepare for difficult topics.
4. Preview the content for yourself: Before you take your children to see "Son of God" or any Bible-themed movie, consider viewing it yourself first. If you decide to take children to see the movie, talk with them about the most graphic scenes and let them ask questions in advance. Let them know it is okay to be sad or upset and give them coping strategies (e.g., "You can close your eyes or bury your face in my shoulder if something upsets you.") And remind them before the film begins that we already know how it ends—God wins!
5. Know your child. Children have different emotional capacities that may not be connected with their chronological ages. While some 10- to 11-year-olds may be able to understand and handle the emotional stress of watching a crucifixion scene, some tender-hearted teenagers may not. Talk to your kids and gauge whether they are ready, regardless of their ages.
Parents can find additional resources to help prepare children to experience the grand story of God's Word by visiting:
Bible App for kids: http://www.bibles.com/bibleadventures
About American Bible Society:
Headquartered in Manhattan, the 197-year-old American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation's oldest nonprofit organizations, today's American Bible Society provides resources across a variety of platforms enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit AmericanBible.org.