"Do you of a good devotional or book for a 5th grade boy? His parents say he is a rule follower who has recently committed himself to Christ, but they want something that will point his eyes up to who God is -- what He has done for us, and how He works through us, rather than something that focuses on our behavior."
I told him that I don't know of any good books that a boy this age could read on his own, and come to this understanding himself. At this age, the child is still in a phase where the parents must teach, lead, explain, and point to Jesus.
Another thing is that I'm not a huge fan of most devotionals and children's storybook Bibles. I find most of them (especially youth devotions) to be weak in theology, and they tend to focus on works, instead of on abiding in Christ and trusting in the gospel.
I do know of some great resources (for example, the Jesus Storybook Bible and curriculum from The Gospel Project), but not anything that a 10 year old could read, and say, "Oh. Now I get it!"
Even my favorite Bible storybook (especially for young boys), The Action Bible, doesn't so much point to the sufficiency of Christ, as it captivates young minds with lots of action in God's word. Other good resources that can help a child grow in his or her faith (though not specifically point him to the gospel) are:
- Boy, Have I Got Problems! (my older two children went through this a couple of years ago)
- The Case for Faith -- Student Edition (I went through this with my 7th grade daughter last year, and I'm going through it with my 4th grade son now)
If there is one parenting resource I would recommend above all others, it is Big Truths for Young Hearts. But again, it is something that the parents must read and explain to their kids, in about 10-minute segments. I've written about this book before:
But the biggest piece of advice I have for all parents who are concerned about this issue is, "Don't stress out." Like me, many Christian parents think, "I want better teaching for my children than I had as a child. So, I have to get this perfect."
We need to remember that discipleship is a long-term process. It's not one book or one conversation, but a string of conversations and activity that will help our children trust in Jesus. As I wrote in Don't Be a Seasonal Christian Parent, the tools we use to disciple our children are not nearly as important of just doing something, and continually teaching and training them in the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
Of course, I may be missing some good resources. Would you please let me know if you know of any books or devotionals that a 5th grade boy could read on his own, to point him to Jesus?
Thanks for your help!
- Recommended Children's Bibles
- Should We Require Bible Reading for Our Kids?
- Is the Bible Just a Roadmap for Life?
- Passing on Your Faith
- Parenting in the Lord
- Gospel Centered Children
- Review: How God Used a Thunderstorm
- Family Devotions in Real Life (from CBMW, an interview the wife of the Bruce Ware, author of Big Truths for Young Hearts)