Everyone likes a good story. Whether it is real or fiction, human beings seem to have an affinity for liking stories. There are so many mediums by which we tell stories. We do it through books, movies, radio, TV, Internet or by mouth. Since the creation of man, people have been recording history and stories. One of the greatest examples is the story about Noah and the Ark. It is interesting that many societies have similar stories about a worldwide flood. Of course, the names change and details vary, but it is unique that this same enduring story exists in so many diverse places. This helps to prove the authenticity of the Bible. But more than this, we need to ask the question: Why did God make us wired to enjoy stories?
Narrative is a potent and persuasive tool, and it has the ability to shape beliefs and change minds. Advertisers have long taken advantage of narrative persuasion by sprinkling likable characters or funny stories into their commercials. The point is, when you can connect to a story, it makes it personal. That’s when it takes on meaning. It becomes real.
Growing up in God’s Church, I remember “studying” YOU lessons for the very young. The beginning ones were like coloring books in which I learned about stories in the Bible. These stories gained depth and got bigger in scope, as I made my way through the subsequent lessons. They did more than just teach the basics of the Bible. They helped to captivate the imagination of my young mind and to build an awareness of the basic truths of the Bible. As an adult, I still love the story aspect that the Bible lays out for us.
It is so important that parents teach the Bible to their children from a young age (Psalm 78: 1-8). Children need an awareness of the basic truths of the Bible, as they are growing up! (Deuteronomy 6: 1-9; 11:16-19; Exodus 10: 2; 12:24-26; Ephesians 6: 4.)
Parents are to teach their children true knowledge—including the knowledge of God; of the Creator and His vast creation; of His authority and rulership over the creation He brought into being and now sustains; of the invisible yet unstoppable spiritual laws that He set in motion to regulate relationships and to produce happiness, peace and everything good; of the biblical definition of sin as simply being the transgression of these laws operating for our good; of God’s purpose being worked out here below, and of His plan for working it out; of the biblical revelation of Christ and what He means to us today; and of the vital connection between, on the one hand, case histories, incidents and experiences, and, on the other hand, God’s overall purpose and the Gospel.
But it is not just children who need these stories. Even the more “mature” members in God’s Church need them. Matthew 18: 3 tells all of us to be “converted and become as little children.” All of us need to be meek and humble enough to be willing to listen to the stories of the Bible. They are there for us to use and to learn from.