How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth
I love the sweetness of a great story.
- I love the triumph of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel,
- the friendship of Charlotte’s Web,
- the emotion of Where the Red Fern Grows,
- and the whimsy of Jemima Puddle-Duck or Peter Rabbit.
I must confess, I recently was up until 3 in the morning finishing the 7th Harry Potter book.
Erich Fromm, in his book, The Art of Loving, speaks of a child’s basic need for milk and honey.
“Milk is the symbol of the care a child receives for his physical needs, for his person. Honey symbolizes the sweetness of life, that special quality that gives the sparkle within a person” (Hunt, 25).
Good books are rich in honey! What makes a good book?
“Stories that make for wonder. Stories that stir one within with an understanding of the true nature of courage, of love, of beauty” (Hunt, 26).
Choice literature engages the imagination. In experiencing a life beyond our boundaries, we come away changed. Consequently, fine literature can impart a sweet wisdom to us.
C.S. Lewis was greatly influenced by the author, George MacDonald. Lewis felt that MacDonald’s works had “baptized” or “redeemed” his imagination (Guroian, 160). An enlarged imagination helped him comprehend God’s handiwork and love, aiding him in his faith.
Steve Jobs’ biography is slated to be released in a few days. Before he died, he was asked why he had authorized it to be written and he replied, “I wanted my kids to know me” (Cooper).
God, the greatest author of all the ages, has written a story. He has written the Bible that we might know Him – it is one of the ways that He has revealed Himself to mankind.
Within Scripture, God often employs stories and parables to help us see greater truths.
- King David was confronted of his sin with Bathsheba through a story of a poor man and his dear lamb (NIV, 2 Sam. 12).
- We are convicted to extend our compassion to others through the parable of “The Good Samaritan” (NIV, Luke 10: 25-37).
God is an author without equal. In Hebrews His Son, Jesus, is called the “author of our salvation” and throughout Scriptures there is reference to those who believe having their names “written in the Lamb’s book of life” (NIV, Rev. 21:27).
Additionally, “all the days ordained for (us) were written in (His) book before one of them came to be” (NIV, Ps. 139:16).
In light of this divine writer of our days, author of our salvation, and keeper of the Lamb’s book of life, it is amazing how we struggle against His will. I think it is fitting that we put our full trust in Him and relinquish our will to His. Let Him be the grand author of our lives’ adventures.
I believe that a life penned by His kind intentions will be far richer that we can imagine.
Today we welcome and celebrate a new story – that of Baby Bethany. The Great Author has already appointed her days. Filling her life with good literature and, more importantly, God’s word will pass on rich blessing to her.
There is one more bit of honey that can be added to her life and that is family storytelling.
- In your family, recount stories of the special day Bethany, Emily, and Casey were born.
- Tell about your early courtship and marriage. Repeat these stories often.
- Also, speak of how you became a Believer.
- And, most importantly tell of God’s faithfulness in your life. Share stories of how His hand has led you through difficult times, protected you from harm, and has changed your life.
Scripture urges us to “taste and see” that the Lord is good (NIV, Ps. 34:8). The Lord is the honey of life and He enriches our lives with sweet stories.
Related Post . . . 3 Encouragements I Needed When My Children Were Young (a baby shower devotional)
Works Cited . . .
Cooper, Charles, “Biographer: Why Jobs finally opened up”. CBS News online.
Guroian, Vigen, Tending the Heart of Virtue. London: Oxford UP, 1998. Print.
Hunt, Gladys, Honey for a Child’s Heart. Michigan: Zondervan Books, 1989. Print.
The NIV Study Bible.