Take Your Kids on a Tour of God’s Story

You can use these key verses to explain the story of the gospel to your children

When I was a child, I had a bead bracelet that told the whole story of the Bible.

I remember being skeptical when I received the bracelet at a church camp. There were only four beads—green, gray, red, and gold. I thought of our huge family Bible at home and told one of the camp leaders that there was no way all those pages, stories, and unpronounceable names could be summed up in one little bracelet.

“It’s true!” she told me. “Think of it as a tool to help you remember the gospel message. This way, you’ll always have a reminder to share God’s story with others.”

I needed more convincing, so the camp leader patiently walked me through the beads, one at a time.

Green to remind me how God made a good and perfect world and filled it with plants, animals, and two human beings.

Gray to remind me that those two human beings sinned, and that we are all now separated from God by sin and death.

Red to remind me about the sacrifice Jesus made to save us from our sin, bring us into God’s family, and give us the gift of eternal life.

Gold to remind me that, someday, God would destroy sin and death, restore the world, and live with his people again.

I was totally transfixed by this explanation of a story I’d struggled to understand for most of my short life. I lost that bracelet somewhere along the way during my childhood, but I’ve never forgotten its lessons.

You can take your children on a tour of the gospel by using key Scripture verses that teach the lesson of my bracelet represented. By providing a simple overview of God’s unfolding story, you’ll help your children understand the miracle of Jesus and share it with others.

Start with creation.

Life wasn’t always this way. Your younger children will learn this eventually. And your older children already know that something is deeply wrong with our world. Understanding the creation story helps your children see how the world changed, and why sin is such a big problem.

You can read the creation story in Genesis 1, then take your children outside to spend time exploring the world God has made. What are some things that God created? How does Scripture describe the world before Adam and Eve sinned? How does it sound different from the way the world is now?

Key Verse

God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased.

Genesis 1:31a (GNT)

Talk about sin.

No matter how old your children are, they have already experienced sin. Fights with siblings. Skinned knees. Lost pets. Broken friendships. Temper tantrums. Death of loved ones. The Bible tells us that sin is both around us and within us, and its natural consequences are suffering and death.

Keep reading Genesis to see how sin came into the world and how God responded (Genesis 3). Then, sit down together and talk about how sin affects your family. Have you ever hurt each other with your thoughts, words, or actions? How do you feel when you sin? How do you feel when someone else sins against you? What kind of suffering has your family experienced because of sin? What does God’s Word say about sin? If needed, you can tailor your discussion depending on your children’s ages, or you can have separate conversations with your younger and older children.

Key Verse

Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence.

Romans 3:23 (GNT)

Celebrate Jesus.

As a child, I thought that Adam and Jesus were two unrelated characters in a long list of unrelated stories. But as I grew older, I began to see how Jesus is connected to every part of Scripture.

Talk about how the Bible shows us connections between Jesus and many of our favorite stories and characters, like Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). Who is Jesus? What did he do for us? Where is he now? What does he want us to do until he comes back? Ask your children to think about the people in their lives who might be interested in learning more about Jesus. How would your children share the message of Jesus with that person? Encourage your children to practice with you and pray for an opportunity to witness to that person together.

Key Verse

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (GNT)

Look forward to the end of the story.

All your children’s favorite stories have an ending. Even though the stories might be full of moments of difficulty, pain, and loss, everything is made right in the end. God’s story has an ending, too—but we’re not there yet.

You might be dreading a deep dive into Revelation with your children. After all, even the most mature Christians wrestle with the mysteries of this last chapter of God’s story. But you don’t need to be afraid to talk about Revelation with your children. Ask them questions about what God has revealed in his Word. What has God promised? Will the world always be broken? Will sin, suffering, and death stay with us forever? As you look forward to the end of the story, you can rejoice in God’s promises with your children!

Key Verse

I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne: “Now God’s home is with people! He will live with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.”

Then the one who sits on the throne said, “And now I make all things new!”

Revelation 21:3-5a (GNT)

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Elisabeth Trefsgar
Elisabeth Trefsgar

Elisabeth Trefsgar is a content specialist for American Bible Society. She has made a home in New Jersey and Sofia, Bulgaria, and is always on the lookout for the next adventure. She is passionate about seeing communities around the world flourish through the power of God's Word and the efforts of the local church. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading good stories, photographing local sights, and spending time with friends.

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