“If my friends dressed like Barbie, I wouldn’t hang out with them anymore.” My sister’s comment made me snort-laugh into the phone.
“I did find one Barbie with full-length riding pants,” I said, “and a horse! She would love the horse.”
“Yeah,” my sister reasoned, “but then you might as well just get her the horse. Forget the Barbie.”
Ah, Barbie. My five-year-old daughter wants one for Christmas, so I’ve been scanning the aisles, considering my options. Heaven help me. Have you seen these things lately?
Short skirts, bare bellies, rock star glam. It’s like they stepped off a bad Motley Crue video.
For a mom trying to teach humility and gentleness, toy stores are riddled with pitfalls. Dolls show too much skin, action figures pack heavy weapons, and Justin Bieber’s face is plastered to lunchboxes and pencil kits.
Sex! Murder! War! Idolatry! Greed!
We should shield our kids from all this, right?
Well, yes and no.
Because it’s in the Bible, too.
A couple months ago, we bought our kindergartener her first “real” Bible—the NIV Adventure version. She totes it to Sunday school and reads it with Dad at bedtime. She loves this Bible. We love that she loves it. Of course it never occurred to us that her Bible might be scandalous.
Until she brought it to show-and-share at school. When her teacher asked her to read for the class, my sweet, unassuming daughter flipped to the page where her dad left off the night before—Genesis 4:1—and announced to a room full of five-year-olds:
“Adam made love to his wife Eve.”
“You read that?! In front of the whole class?” I wheeled through the carpool pick-up line and shot a glance at my daughter’s face in the rear view mirror.
“Yeah, Mom.” She beamed with pride.
“What did Mrs. L say?” Besides roaring with laughter in the teacher’s lounge.
“She said I did a good job.”
“You did, sweetheart. I’m proud of you.” And slightly mortified. God bless her.
By Hollywood standards, many Bible stories could be rated R. Cain killed his own brother. Dinah was raped. David seduced a married woman. Nation battled bloody nation while parents sacrificed their children to false gods. Mary was a virgin, but try explaining virginity to preschoolers. And Jesus, our beloved Bible superstar, was tortured and nailed to a tree.
Touchy topics for kids, if you ask me. And yet, this stuff is real. It’s God’s Word, the source of wisdom.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right,” (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT).
I confess sometimes when my husband and I read the Bible to our girls, we skip parts. Or we paraphrase, for example, “Adam
made love to loved his wife Eve,” (Genesis 4:1, Mommy and Daddy Translation), because age-appropriate lessons can be explained without gory detail. But as our children grow older, I hope and pray we can explore the touchy stuff from the context of the Bible first—before they glean it from the toy store, TV or Internet.
“Mom, I don’t need a Barbie anymore.” My five-year-old leafed through the latest Toys R Us catalog and circled photos of Lego sets with a blue crayon.
“You don’t?” I looked over her shoulder and wondered what other glittery object had usurped Barbie. Please don’t say a Bratz doll.
“Nope. But I really, really, really want—a Slinky.”
A Slinky! What a deal. You’re on, kiddo. One shiny Slinky under the tree—now there’s something I can handle.
Linking up with: The Better Mom, Playdates With God, Mommy Moments, Titus 2sdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Living Well Wednesdays, Grace at Home, Things I Can’t Say, Thought Provoking Thursday and Faithfully Parenting Fridays.