We are naturally drawn to the power of a good story. It starts at a young age, doesn’t it?
Jack and Jill and other nursery rhymes.
Aesop’s Fables and fairy tales.
Frights around a campfire and happily-ever-after bedtime stories.
Jesus understood the power of a story. He spoke truth, then illustrated it with parables – earthly stories with heavenly meanings. He drew people to the Father through word pictures His listeners could recognize and relate to.
He was happiest when people understood His message (think of the Roman centurion in Matthew 8:10 who exhibited more faith than any Israelite Jesus met). He was disappointed when they didn’t get it (John 14:9, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?”).
We catch glimpses of both His joy and disappointment when we offer our stories, too. Whether in a picture book or a chapter book, we tell a story using words our readers can relate to. We do it because the motive for our writing is not just to entertain, it’s to accomplish an eternal purpose.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14 NIV).
Don’t underestimate your audience. And don’t allow others – including other writers – to disparage your written contributions as being any less valuable than other genres. Children are important to Jesus, so they must be important to us.
But children are also important to us for another reason:
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me’” (Matthew 18:2-5 NIV).
Children show us how to come to the Father. We need them to demonstrate what it means to have childlike faith. To trust without wavering. To love as we have been loved.
Write so that the children may come. As you do, come as a child, as well.
Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur. Additionally, Ava is co-author of Faith Basics for Kids. The first two books in the series are Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and Called.
In addition to her writing, Ava also teaches a weekly, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. She is a passionate speaker and teacher, and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, visit her at www.AvaWrites.com.