I can remember teaching my children about the heroes of the Bible from their very earliest days. We told and retold the stories of Bible characters, sang songs about them and even did puppet skits and plays with Biblical casts of characters. We always portrayed them as such glorious and wonderful role models. And of course, when kids are little, they accept everything we tell them at face value.
As my kids reached their teenage years, even though they were raised in church, some rebellion occurred that took me by surprise. Now I know that some of that is the normal progression of growing up and learning to think for themselves and develop their own thoughts and opinions. But if the promises of God are "yes" and "amen", then any turning from the Word at any age should be examined.
I began to think about all of the Bible stories that I imparted to my children. I thought about the characteristics and the morality of the people in the Old and New Testaments which I encouraged them to emulate. Alot of those Bible folks were not very moral or "upstanding" at times, and yet these are the very folks that I wanted my children to aspire to be like. I think that we lift those characters up and put them on a level that is impossible for anyone to maintain and then wonder why our children have little interest in trying to live a clean chaste life. Then they figure out that the Bible folks we taught them about did not live exactly how we said they did. We forget that they were human and flawed just like the rest of us.
If we make Scriptual heros out to be something that they were not, then it seems to our children that we and they were hypocrites, preaching one way and living another. And I'm here to tell you that kids hate that! I'm sure that they wonder why we think so highly of people who had affairs or had others killed or who denied Jesus or the many other acts that were not so Godly. Maybe if we presented these Biblical characters as people who overcame flaws and imperfections and sometimes downright evil acts, to do something good for God, then our children would say, "I'm like them, so maybe I can serve God too, even though I'm not perfect."
What if we taught our children that the amazing thing about these Bible characters is that they were real people, just like us? What if we didn't make them out to be people they were not? This would show kids that we want them to do the very best that they can to live for Him, but if they falter every once in a while, they are still great in the Kingdom of God!