Christian therapy stories and Bible studies for troubled children are available in this Free Download Library. The material offered here is for the use of parents, teachers, etc. in helping troubled children, ages 8 through 11. Each story has a corresponding Bible study that helps the teacher to explain Bible truth into the belief system of the child.
The stories are fiction-fantasy. They are not specifically “children’s literature,” nor are they Bible stories, nor are they “character builders.” They are of the genre of literature called “bibliotherapy;” or books that help, and in this case, books that help a child to understand and trust the way God relates and helps, in accordance with His grace covenant.
The material is authored by Ran Butler Stovall, and is drawn from his education, his parenting of three children and his thirty-five years of experience in clinical counseling ministry. The approach to therapy is cognitive/emotive. Briefly put, changes in thinking can result in changes in emotions– changes in emotions can result in changes in behaviors. Thus, the belief system of a child can guide the child’s life. A confused belief system can cause a child to feel and behave in a troubled way.
Story and Study I.Return-from-dark-valley A fiction-fantasy story about a carpenter who made a son; the son rebelled and got into serious predicament; the carpenter put himself in pain and jeopardy to effect a rescue. The loose parallel of the story to the Bible accounts of the creation of Adam, the “fall of mankind,” the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ may be obvious to you, but perhaps not to your child.
The corresponding Bible Study is designed to help your child understand that God loves His Creation. Whatever He causes, whatever He allows, is motivated by that love. Learning to trust that love dispels fear, confusion and frustration, resulting in a reduction of stress on the brain chemistry.
In addition to helping your child understand God, going through these stories/studies provides you and your child opportunity to relate to one another spiritually and psychologically. If you are not sure that you believe that the Bible account is accurate, you can say that to your child, but suggest that your child should make up her/his own mind about it.
Story and Study II. “The Lord of Glynnisfree” – a fantasy-fiction story about a girl and boy who run away from their home in a bad kingdom, ruled by a bad king, to look for a good kingdom ruled by a good king.
The corresponding Bible study emphasizes the human need for a new spirit, and of God’s desire to give it. It also introduces the concept that God welcomes people into His Kingdom, and He invites believers to tell others how they, too might come to it. This speaks to a child’s needs for healthy identity and healthy purpose in life.
Story and Study III. “Geneva and the Lost Music” – a fantasy-fiction story about young twins who, as they grow older, are loosing their ability to hear the music of the mountain bells. The village clerk explains the reason for the loss of of the music and the how to hear it again.
The Bible study for this story explains the loss of innocence in the human soul, and how to receive restoration. A deep anguish for the human soul is to be uncertain of standing with Holy God, and a deep joy and peace for the human soul is to have assurance of right standing.
Story and Study IV. “The Princess Who Became King” – a fantasy-fiction story about a princess named Merriamne, who became king of the little nation of Greenwich, and had to lock up all the children of her kingdom in the dungeon.
The Bible study for this story explains that each soul is valuable to God, and that all are invited to come into His family. In cultures where the levels of affluentcy and education are relatively high, many children seem to have one or more personality conflicts–inferiority, insecurity, inadequacy, guilt and/or fears. They perceive that they are not liked or cared about. They need assurance of they are of great value to God and others.
I pray that the Spirit of Jesus will guide your use of these stories and studies into many happy, successful teaching and learning experiences for you and your children.