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Throwing Stones

Throwing Stones

“I’m going to throw a stone at you,” he said, a mischievous grin spreading across his face.

“Ok, show me whatcha got,” I replied, and watched as my two-year-old wound up all the strength in his little body and prepared to let his stone fly.

Before you call child services, let me back up a bit.

Reading a Bible story with our son has been a part of his bedtime routine pretty much since he was born. He’s always loved books, so getting him to snuggle himself between Mommy and Daddy for a story was never really an issue.

Until.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but our little man was starting to help me understand the true meaning behind the phrase, “he’s all boy.” The pre-bedtime energy bursting out of him was truly a sight to behold. Suddenly, expecting him to sit still while we read his Bible seemed just plain ridiculous. We’d start reading, and before we knew it he’d be doing a handstand with his feet climbing the wall, spinning in circles trying to see how long it’d take him to fall down, doing a forward roll off the couch, or taking my face in both his hands and asking if he could see my bellybutton.

To which I often found myself responding, “If you don’t sit still and listen to this story of God’s patient loving-kindness RIGHT NOW…”

We were beginning to lose our patience, and I started wondering why we were even trying. We knew Bible time as a family was important, but weren’t sure what it should look like for our energetic fella.

And then…the miracle of Bible Theatre.

One night, as we were trying to read about Jesus’ birth and epically failing to capture Benjamin’s attention, I made one last feeble attempt to get him focused.

As if I had a delicious secret, I bent low and whispered, “Ben—do you want to put on a show and act out our Bible story??”

Ben’s chorus of “Old MacDonald” that he’d been belting out screeched to a halt. He stared at me for a moment and then, with a hint of excitement in his voice, said, “Can I be the innkeeper?”

Blankets and bedsheets became costumes, a toddler bed became a stable, and we happened to have a baby sister handy who made her acting debut as baby Jesus. Our son told “Joseph” and myself, with much passion, that there was “Noooo room” in the inn,” and then watched with quiet intensity as I wrapped the sort-of-newly-born Jesus in a blanket.

And so, a few nights later, Ben’s “stone” that he was preparing to hurl at me was in reality a rolled up pair of socks, and I was playing the controversial role of Goliath. Through some trial and error, we’ve found that allowing our son to move and play and pretend while weaving in the message of the gospel has kept the Bible both fun and engaging for our active little guy.

One of the coolest parts of this Bible Theatre is that it’s not limited to just bedtime. Ben will ask throughout the day if we can act out one of the stories, which allows opportunities for ongoing, gospel-centered conversations.

My son probably won’t be captivated by Bible Theatre forever, but for now…it just works. My prayer is that even by just acting out these stories, the wisdom and truth contained within them will begin taking root in my son’s heart and grow into a sincere love for God’s word.

What a great reminder for us that God’s living and active word can be experienced and enjoyed in all stages of life and in many ways—whether I’m meditating on it in my own quiet time or having rolled up socks hurled at me by a two-year-old.

What are some creative ways that you have integrated Bible learning into your family time and everyday routines?

By: Mary Holloman is married to her handsome husband of five years and has two children: a two-year old son who never stops moving, and a brand-new baby girl. Mary works and writes for Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center and also serves in her local church’s college ministry. You can follow her daily shenanigans on her blog, All My Springs, which can be found at www.allmyspringsblog.com or follow her on Twitter at @mtholloman.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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