There have been times when I have been weary of reading to my kids the same story over and over again. I have become bored with it. For them, they are excited to hear it again for the one hundredth time. They want to see the same movie again and again. My youngest daughter still gets a little scared when she watches Beauty and the Beast.
I can see their little faces light up whenever they anticipate what is about to happen next. Their smiles brighten as they begin to memorize the sentences and dialog. Before my girls even learned to read they wanted to read the story back to me. My oldest now wants to read the younger two their favorite books at night during our bedtime routine. I often let her hijack my story time so that I can peek-in and watch them interact.
On occasion, one of them would wake me up in the middle of the night because something scarred them. They had a nightmare; heard something, or saw something. In my attempt to keep them out of my bed, you know, so that I could sleep too, I would bribe them by promising to tell them a story. I would make up a story about not being afraid. It usually involved daddy beating something up. Because if there were such things as monsters, “Daddy would show that monster who’s boss.” Monsters are not real, but if they were real Daddy was stronger than made-up monsters. They would stay in their bed and they would fall back to sleep.
What you do this week matters. Stories help to shape your kid’s perspective. They can build courage and a strong imagination that make impossibilities a reality.
Stories can make life fuller, faith deeper, and hope stronger.
Instead of simple facts, use stories to influence your kids. Repeat them often. Share stories of your faith and the faith of others. Watch their faces light up when they share them with someone else.
Stories are powerful, especially when they reflect God’s story. Stories over time matter especially when they come from parents and leaders who care.
Read them. Watch them. Tell them. Create them. Write them. Illustrate them. Film them. Live them. Collect them. Share them.