Make Room For Us Daddy: No Bones About It
- 2003 27 Mar
My 5-year-old son is an amazing physical specimen. How's that, you wonder?
Well, he manages to run, jump, flail and flap his arms all day despite having barely a bone in his body. Just ask him.
"Son, what color are your bones?"
"Very good. How many are in your body?"
See what I mean?
In case you haven't guessed, we're studying the human body in home school this month. It can be a delicate topic (hint, body noises) but also rich in humor and ripe for teaching about God's power and perfection.
Our three kids - ages 8 and 5 (twins) - have always had a fascination with their bodies. My son, in particular, marvels at scrapes and bruises. So my wife and I decided it was time to teach them what lies beneath that mosquito bite on their leg.
The "big project" was to trace their outlines onto a white piece of paper, then paste internal parts to the proper places. It turned out to be a positive teaching tool, but if you try it, be prepared to sing "The leg bone's connected to the thigh bone ..." at the beginning of each day. Sigh.
Our bodies truly are wondrous creations, and by learning how each organ leans on another for help, we were able to connect the physical with the spiritual. Our kids now understand that "From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Eph. 4:16 NIV)
Oh yes, they also understand that "the heart is only three inches tall" (son) ... "you can eat 100 meals before your stomach explodes" (youngest daughter) and "the small intestine is so long it could wrap around the world a couple of times"(oldest daughter).
Funny stuff, but the real treat comes when I ask, "How can our bodies work so perfectly without needing much maintenance?" and hear my 8-year-old answer, "Because Jesus made us."
That response may seem fairly obvious, but in this era of "Evolution or else" it still sounds good to a dad who worries if my kids are "getting it."
Fortunately, their mother makes sure they study not only the important body parts, but the most important part behind the body - Jesus.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139: 13-14a)
By teaching that God is the master builder, it has helped our children understand that their bodies are temples with which they can and should worship God.
That's not to say they suddenly feel convicted to turn away ice cream and Oreos, but they are beginning to see a connection between the leg bone and the Lord.
He made us, ear wax and all.
Rob Oller is a homeschool dad and a sportswriter and columnist for The Columbus Dispatch, the second-largest circulation paper in Ohio.