The Sunshine of Dawn: Reading the Bible Out Loud to a 3 Year Old Child

Whenever I read the Bible to my almost-three year old daughter, I reword things slightly so she can understand and connect with the passage. Today we read Proverbs 4. She interrupted after verse 9 and said that instead of a crown, she’d prefer sparkly shoes. I told her that was a wonderful idea, because if Wisdom gave her shoes, she’d always know the right way to go. Here’s what we read:

1 Listen, my little boy, to your daddy’s teaching,
and pay attention, so you can grow wise and smart,
2 for I teach you good things;
do not disobey me or forget.
3 When I was a little boy with my daddy,
I was very little, and my mommy loved me so much,
4 My daddy taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold onto my words;
obey my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and listen to the words of my mouth.
6 Do not push away wisdom, and she will hold you;
love her, and she will keep you safe.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
8 Prize her highly, and she will hold you up high;
she will honor you if you hold onto her tightly.
9 She will put on your head graceful flowers;
she will give you a beautiful sparkly crown to wear.”
10 Hear with your ears, my little boy, listen to my words,
so you can be happy and live forever.
11 I have taught you to be wise and good;
I have held your hand in the street of goodness.
12 When you walk, your feet will not get tired,
and when you run, you will not fall down.
13 Hold onto what I teach you; don’t let go;
guard Wisdom, for she is your whole life.
14 Do not follow or spend time with bad people,
and do not act like or pretend to be bad.
15 Avoid it; do not go near badness;
look away from it, and it will pass by you.
16 For bad people cannot sleep unless they have done something bad;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have hurt someone.
17 For they eat the bread of badness,
and drink the wine of meanness.
18 But the path of the Godly is like the sunshine of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter as the sun comes up.
19 The way of bad people is covered with deep darkness;
they can’t even see what they’re tripping over.
20 My sweet little boy, pay attention to my words;
listen with your ear to what I’m saying.
21 Always keep good thoughts close beside you;
hide them deep inside your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their wounds; their owies.
23 Keep your heart and watch out,
for in your heart is the water of life.
24 Put away from you lies and mean words,
and put unkind talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight towards Jesus,
and your thoughts be always about God.
26 Think about the steps of your feet;
and you will not trip or fall down.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
but walk away from badness; walk toward God.

March 2015 with Bell

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