Bible can teach valuable lessons to children

By Greg Zambrano, NOLA Catholic parenting

My two girls, ages 11 and 6, usually get along well. They can play for hours, but mainly if it’s outdoors in such places as a playground or the backyard.

The 4 1/2-year age difference between the two seems to be a lot, but usually things run smoothly.

One day they were off from school and, after breakfast, they decided to play together with a new toy that the 6-year-old had received. It was a box with 12 different containers of slime. This is a very popular toy for almost all ages these days.

They sat together and played with the slime for few minutes until I started hearing the word “mine” being used very often, and they seemed to be getting agitated.

At the moment, my thoughts were how do I teach them to share in peace. They are already old enough to understand the concept of sharing, but they just needed to have the desire to do so.

Knowing that they enjoy hearing Bible stories, I thought I might inspire them to share by reading to them the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17:8-16. This reading deals with God sending Elijah to Zarephath to meet a widow there after many trials and a long and difficult journey.

Because of a drought, the residents of Zarephath are at a difficult point, barely holding on to survive.

This story illustrates the love for neighbor and total abandonment to God. The widow shared – out of her poverty – the small amounts of food she had with Elijah, and God rewarded her.

She is a perfect example of why we should trust in the Lord. Share what we have no matter or how small it might seem.

God is able to provide, through the blessing, by the cooperation and love for your neighbor. We learn that if we die to our own selves, our Lord will provide abundantly.

The widow received more flour and oil than she could imagine. In God’s divine providence, we will all be beyond satisfied.

My girls enjoyed the Bible reading and teaching. The older one picked up the Bible afterwards and started reading it on her own.

Is it going to keep them from ever fighting for a toy? Maybe not, but they are gaining a lot by me taking my time to give them a great Catholic teaching.

Greg Zambrano was born in Colombia and raised in Miami, Florida. After serving in both the Marine Corps and the Air Force for a total of 10 years, he became a stay-at-home father. He and his wife have been married for 17 years and have two beautiful daughters who attend Catholic school. They enjoy going to nearby parks and playgrounds, especially when the weather cools down. Also as a family, they enjoy going to the movies, eating at restaurants and attending Mass on Saturday at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Shrine on State Street.

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