Kids, the reality of sin, and stories

The other day, I was talking to one of my friends about how one of her children was working as a camp counselor. That child was amazed at how disrespectful and disobedient some of those young campers could be. And she remarked, “It’s incredible how parents can mess up their kids so quickly!”

My initial response was: “True, but children come out messed up, so there’s that.”

Broken from the get-go

I know I’ve thought the same initial thoughts as my friend’s child – parents really CAN mess their kids up! It is obviously not always the child’s fault why they may make some bad choices. But when you think about it, anyone who has experience as a parent or who is around children know that sin is inherent in each and every one of these little cherubim. For example, no one needs to teach a child to be selfish or lie or talk back. That’s just hard wired in each one of us in one way or another. We’re all broken.

But God!

However, we’re not left without hope. Although we are all broken, we are not left on our own to navigate life. As I’ve mentioned several times in various blogs, we have the unchanging Word of God which steadies and grounds us. That is our foundation from which we guide not only our children, but ourselves. God’s Word helps us to embrace the job of parenting, which is to prepare our children’s hearts to receive God’s Spirit, and lead these little blessings with a loving, firm hand.

Although how exactly we raise our kids can vary, we know God’s Word never changes. It is not only filled with wisdom and history, but it points us to the LORD. The Bible teaches us about His goodness, righteousness, and the salvation He has provided for us. And it also inherently demonstrates how stories help to communicate eternal Truths to us.


The stories we choose to read to our children (or as in the case of older children, the stories we give to our children to read!) are so important. Stories exercise our imaginations and often put flesh onto hard to understand concepts and/or explain various life lessons. For example, whenever the pastor decides to throw in a story in the middle of his sermon, my ears automatically perk up. Both my listening and understanding improves.

The Courageous Series

That being said, an incredible set of books that teaches Biblical Truth that we now have at MHM are The Courageous Series. These books tell the stories of Believers who have walked courageously before us. The first three are from Biblical times, and the last three are more recent saints.

All six of the books that make up the series are well written and interesting for our kids. I’ve had our 10 year old read to our 5 year old twins, and they actually sit and listen to her read the books in their entirety. It’s awesome!

Jesus obviously knew how to best communicate with us. He used stories throughout His ministry to drive home important ideas He wanted His followers to know. It’s so important that we wisely encourage our children to have their minds feast on books that will point them to Truth. These books (as well as others here at MHM!), do just that.


For one example, Book 5 is about Valentinus. We all know about Valentine’s Day, but no one really talks about how we got that holiday. We can thank Valentinus for blessing us with his example.

Long ago, the Romans needed more soldiers to fight in their wars. They tried to recruit men to join their ranks, but few would join them. The men knew they would be gone for at least 25 years, and most of the men wanted to be married and have families. So in response, the Romans decided to outlaw marriage.

Rather than obey the unjust law, Valentinus, who was a church leader, decided to instead obey God’s law. So he secretly married many couples in accordance with Scripture.

Eventually, the Romans discovered what Valentinus was doing, and had him arrested. He was later executed for his disobedience as well as for refusing to worship the Roman gods. He died on February 14, 269 AD.

And who do we still know about and celebrate? Valentinus or the Roman emperor who had him executed?


What a beautiful story! Courage seems to be in short supply these days. But what a great way to instill and inspire in our children this godly, much needed trait! Yes, there may be sacrifices involved when we obey. But honoring God and His Word reaps much bigger, eternal rewards.

None of us will choose to be righteous on our own (Romans 3:10). Praise God for His Spirit! And praise God for stories that point us to Truth and to the LORD. How wonderful that we can teach our kids through great stories about those who’ve gone before us and lived lives that honor God!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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