As I have written about before regarding children’s books, one of the best ways to being discipling kids is through biblical based storybooks. Children loved to be read to and they soak up more than adults may realize. One biblical truth that children need to learn early is that there is nothing they can do to earn God’s love. A great book to teach this is Max Lucado’s classic children’s book The Children of the King (Crossway, 1994, 2014).
The book centers around a fictional village in which some orphan children lived. They receive word that the king is going to come and take them to live with him in the palace. In an effort to prepare for the king’s arrival, each child decides to prepare something in order to impress him. One child paints a picture, one writes a song, one studies his books to show how the king that he is smart, etc. One child, however, cannot think of any talent or gift that she has to impress the king. She believes that the king will not want to take her back to the palace because she has nothing. One day the king arrives, but not with pomp and circumstance. He comes dressed as a commoner. As he goes to each child to take them back to the palace, they each turn him away because they are too busy preparing their gifts. All except the little girl who thought she had nothing. To her surprise, the king is delighted to meet her and make her his child. She cannot believe it, because she has nothing to give. Yet, the king reminds her that he loves her not because of what she can offer, but because of who she is.
This story is a great lesson for children (and adults) that God loves us despite the fact that we have nothing to offer him. The truth is, there is nothing we can do to earn or lose God’s love. He loves us because of who he is and not because of what we can do for him. It is also a great lesson in not being so busy trying to do good things for God that we neglect time with him. These are good lessons to teach children at a young age. They will serve them well as they grow in their faith.
The Children of the King is a must have for a young child’s library. Lucado does an excellent job of conveying biblical truths in a way children can understand. The classic illustrations by renowned artist Sergio Martinez are the perfect companion to the story and help bring it to life.
Editor’s Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.