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Huan Ngo wrote:

Hi, guys —

Our family has been reading the Bible and praying every night. It wasn't easy getting started. God had answered our prayer. My wife and I are very happy and thankful that prayer time has become a routine.

We started from the beginning of the Bible and have come to the book of Leviticus. Our two boys are ages 18, 17 and our daughter is 13. The topic of chapter 15 and 18 are very mature and I am not sure if they are suitable for our daughter. My intention was to read the Bible from beginning to end because I think God wants all of us to know His Word.

Your guidance in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Thank you and God bless,

Huan Ngo

  { For a couple who want their children to know the Word, how do we handle Leviticus 15 and 18? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Huan,

Congratulations on regular prayer and Bible-reading time as a family. You are right to be concerned about what to read to your children.

The Bible is not one book, but many books. The order they are in is not historical. The books are grouped by kind, out of historical order in many cases, and sometimes they are grouped as "more important" to less important and larger to smaller within the group. So it is not necessary or even useful to read the Bible as we have it now from front to back. You may skip around, and skip parts that you think would not be understandable to your children. You might want to check out
Jeff Cavins' Bible study to help the whole family find the main threads of the story.

As for Leviticus, it is culturally conditioned, of course, and it contains rules given so that the people could show their holiness (their belonging to God) in the culture and understanding of their times.

God bless you and your family.

Mary Ann

John replied:

Dear Huan,

Let me suggest that you purchase a DVD series called Our Father's plan by Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins. It will guide you through Salvation history in chronological order using only 14 of the 73 books in the Bible. That might make more sense to start off and it has a reading plan so you can read so many chapters per night over 12 or 13 weeks and then watch the DVD every week.

As for Leviticus, it is mature material, but not really for a 13 year old. She's going to hear and see a lot worse on television and she probably gets a lot worse if she's in a public school. At least she'll be getting a biblical perspective. Certainly there are all kinds of very explicit stories in Scriptures.

One only need to read Genesis, and you'll read about incest, sex acts being interrupted in order to avoid pregnancy and so forth. It's like watching one of those day time talk show hosted by the likes of Jerry Springer, but in these stories, we see God working through imperfect people. We read about grace and redemption. The bible doesn't sugar coat our failures. It doesn't make the "heroes" and "fathers" of our faith out to be perfect men. King David was an adulterer, a polygamist, and a murderer. He committed these sins while serving God. Of course we see him repent and at the end of his life he is called a man after God's own heart.

So it's up to you. You can try and shelter you 13-year-old daughter from these things, but it's actually a good context in which to bring up these subjects so you can teach her right and wrong.

I hope this helps.

John

Huan replied:

Thanks to Mary Ann and John for suggesting the material from Jeff Cavins and Scott Hahn as well as for your feedback.

I will check out these resources. I think John's opinion about the suitability of the Bible for a 13 year old makes sense. I am afraid John is right that kids have heard more explicit than what's in the Bible from other kids. The difference is that the Bible presents the truth and tells what is right and wrong as far as God is concerned.

If the Bible is where our kids hear it first, that will be okay to me, because that way I think they will be prepared when they hear it from other kids and know how to respond the right way. Before reading the Bible we pray for guidance to understand with our hearts and our minds. We believe that the Holy Spirit guides us on the learning process.

Thanks for helping to re-affirm my trust in the teaching of the Bible and that the language is not too mature for our 13 year old daughter and definitely suitable for our 17 and 18 year old boys.

Thank you and God bless,

Huan Ngo

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