As I grew up in Church I was always super impressed with the ‘Heroes’ of the faith… to accomplish what they accomplished…to see what they saw…that was my dream! We talked about trusting God like David before Goliath, Following God’s plan like Noah, helping the oppressed like Moses and being willing to do anything like Abraham.
What was often left out from those lessons was that David slept with another mans wife and then had him killed, Noah got drunk, Moses disobeyed God and Abraham let other men sleep with his wife because he told them she was his sister.
Naturally you wouldn’t want to tell kids as young as 5 years old about an adulterous David but I do think there is a flaw behind our way of teaching kids.
Our reluctance to highlight failures combined with our over eagerness to share success creates a model for kids that they can never live up to! We all have failures and flaws and that won’t change soon! The real teaching is that even through those flaws, God still chooses to use us!
I think too often we try to learn lessons from the ‘Heroes’ of the faith…when we should instead be focusing on the faithful God in those situations. I still believe there are benefits and things to learn from the Old Testament heroes but the ultimate example for kids should be found in the character and nature of God.