In this day and age of 24/7 TV and Internet access, children are bombarded with messages all the time. There are sometimes bad communications surrounding them during the day that parents are unaware of; however, parents have the opportunity to seal the evening with Bible stories. The key to children remembering particular verses is the repetition as well as the daily applications of everyday life. Use the following bedtime stories as a launching point of sharing with your children every night before they sleep.
Bedtime Story of God’s Care (Genesis 5:29-9:29)
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8).
Our children need to know deep in their hearts how much God cares for them. We can’t wrap our children in bubble wrap spiritually, emotionally, nor physically to keep them from harm. They will eventually be free to discover a relationship with God without mom or dad’s presence. The story of Noah’s ark does include the tragedy of the flood, yet it also reveals the tenderness of God towards Noah, his family, and animal life.
As it was with Noah, we desire the favor of God on our children no matter where they are in the world. After reading the story of Noah’s ark, we can remind our children that God will take care of them for the rest of their lives as they choose to live for Him. Encourage them to walk righteously and follow God faithfully as Noah did.
Bedtime Story of God’s Call (1 Samuel 3)
“Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’” (1 Samuel 3:10).
A calling from God isn’t limited to preachers, teachers, and missionaries. All believers in Christ Jesus have a calling to follow Him, share the Good News with unbelievers, and disciple other people in the faith. The story of Samuel’s calling from God reveals how it’s never too early for a child to surrender their heart to Him and listen for His voice.
When God called out to Samuel, he wasn’t sure who was calling; however, he was confident that someone did. After the third time, Eli gave Samuel the right instructions for listening to God. As parents we can follow Eli’s example and give our children direct insight on how to hear from God through His word.
Bedtime Story of God’s Comfort (1 Kings 19:1-18)
“And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” (1 Kings 19:9).
No matter where you live in the world, there’s growing resistance to Christians practicing their faith. Many governments are passing laws that increasingly interfere with worship, Bible study, and evangelism. Persecution will come at our children hard and fast; therefore, they need to know the comfort of the Lord when everything around them is uncomfortable.
Elijah ran from Jezebel after performing one of the greatest miracles of all time. He was exhausted inside and out; Elijah needed comfort from God. The Lord graciously provided food for his physical body and spoke to him in a gentle whisper to encourage his spirit. The story of Elijah will remind your children how God will comfort them in trouble as they turn to Him.
Bedtime Story of God’s Control (John 6:1-15)
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9).
It’s not the times when everything is going our way that we are most aware of God, but rather when life is difficult and hard to explain. Our children will grow up to do greater works for Jesus when they believe that God’s control in good and bad times.
Jesus asked Philip how they were going to feed so many people even though He knew the outcome. Sometimes the Lord allows a season of pain for our children so that they will learn to dig deeper spiritually and trust that He is in control. Even though their world may feel like chaos at times, our children will rest in assurance of God’s ability to provide and keep them.
Bedtime Story of God’s Compassion (Matthew 28:1-9)
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay” (Matthew 26:8).
The greatest story of love that we can share with our children is about Jesus’ birth leading to His resurrection. It’s the love of the Father for the whole world that brought Jesus to the earth. The story of God’s compassion needs to be told all year round with our children and not just during the holidays.
Our children are included with everyone who must put their faith in Jesus in order to be saved. By telling the story of Jesus’ resurrection, we remind them how they are saved by the grace of God and not by what they do. It’s amazing what believing children can do for God when they’re saturated with correct teaching about Jesus’ resurrection through the love of God.
Make It a Fun Bedtime Story!
Depending on the ages of your children, you could include puppets (using old socks), Bible story books, or any Bible translation that engages their understanding. Until your children leave the home—make it a tradition to read scriptural passages in the Bible and share a short discussion with how to apply it to their lives. You don’t have to be a theologian, just open your heart and mind to the leading of the Holy Spirit to tell your bedtime Bible story.
Related Reading: 5 Great Bible Stories about Jesus for Kids
Resource – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version