Boys love stories! And stories are a powerful medium with which to communicate deep truths to the heart. Below you will find questions and potential answers we hope will help bring about good conversation between you and your sons after you’ve read the article to them, A Better Story, a tale for dinnertime conversation
- The questions are simply ideas. Embrace healthy and enjoyable “rabbit trails.”
- The answers or responses are provided to give you ideas for how a boy might respond of how you can respond.
Questions(Q): What are some things you have created? How did you feel when you were done?
Answer/response(A): Drawings, legos, crafts, stories, school projects, games… I felt happy and kinda proud of myself.
Q: What are your favorite parts of God’s creation? Have you ever thanked God for these things? Why or why not?
A: The ocean, pets, family members, favorite foods, taste buds, the ability to run, love…
A: A lot of times it is more natural for us to ask for things than to be thankful for what we have been given. So often we forget to thank God for all that he has given us!
Q: In “A Better Story” three enemies are described that Jesus “the serpent-crusher” defeated. Who are they? What does it mean for each of these things to have been “put to death”?
A: Sin, Death, The Serpent.
Sin: When we belong to Jesus sin no longer has power over us. We are free and able to love and obey God.
Death: When we belong to Jesus we know that when our body stops working and dies that our soul (the non-physical part of who we are) doesn’t die AND that there will be a day, the Bible calls “The Resurrection,” when we get new and better bodies.
The Serpent: This is The Devil (Satan), and he was defeated when Jesus died on the cross and then was resurrected (brought back to life). Though The devil still has the ability to deceive, we have the ability to resist and to obey God when we trust in Jesus and his perfect obedience, NOT our own life and obedience (which is not perfect).
Deeper questions for older boys:
Q: Why do you think Eve and Adam ate from the tree God told them not to? Why do you do the things God says not to?
A: They ate because they chose to trust the Serpent instead of God. They wanted to be God rather than submitting to (trusting and obeying) God. This was a form of rebellion.
A: Because our Great Great Great …. Grandparents sinned and rebelled we inherit the same spiritual problem of sinful desires (sin nature). We are born with the same hearts of rebellion and the same desire to do things our own way rather than God’s way. Until God changes our hearts and saves us we want sin more than we want God. Jesus made it possible to be saved from this problem by living the life of obedience and love that Adam did not live. Jesus died to free us from the guilt of our sin.
Q: What does the Bible tell us about why Jesus had to die? (You can read, or have your boys read, Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:22) What does this tell you about the seriousness of sin?
A: God is infinitely holy (He does not sin). He is also perfectly just (is always fair). So the bad things we do must be punished or God would not be just/fair. How would you like it if the person who stole from you was just let off the hook? Our sin, even the “little” things, are not really little because every sin is always against God who is infinitely holy. Therefore, God tells us that what we earn by our sin is death, and that the only way to clean us of our sin is the death of Jesus. His death was in our place. He got the just punishment of death and we get the free gift of mercy when we put our trust in Jesus.
Q: What does this teach you about God’s love for you? (John 3:16, Romans 5:6-11)
A: Jesus took our place. We deserved eternal death in hell as the consequence of our sins, but Jesus chose to take the punishment we deserved. He did this because he loves us. There is no greater act of love ever demonstrated! God loves sinners, which means he loves me!
Additional questions that might be helpful
Q: What is sin?
A: Sins are the bad things we do. God is the one who tells us what is right and what is wrong. We can learn about these things in the Bible.
Q: Do you believe God created the earth and everything in it?
A: The Bible describes how the world came to be in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. It would be good to read this together and to talk about questions or parts that are interesting. Do you believe the Bible? Why or why not?
Q: When you think about God creating, what’s the first question that pops into your mind? Why did he create by speaking? Why did he take six days to do it? Why did he rest on the seventh day? What must it have been like to see so many interesting things spring into existence?!
Q: What were the consequences for not following the directions God gave them?
A: God told Adam and Eve that they would die. They didn’t die right away because God chose to be kind and patient with them, but death entered our human experience at that point. Now, instead of a peaceful, obedient, close relationship with God, our sin creates distance between us and God, and between each other. We choose to sin. We struggle with sin. Disease, injury, pain, sadness etc. are now difficult parts of life. The work God has called us to do is now hard, and often times not enjoyable like it was before Adam and Eve fell and brought sin into the world.