– Why we should be exposing and reading to our children fairy tales and stories. God is only truly believable through the imagination. And so then are his statutes only obtainable through parable, story, and fable.
I had a thought while reading the section about Beauty and the Beast: most children these days are only exposed to children’s TV programming. While we all have known this is not healthy for children – my eyes were opened to “why” we are seeing such moral depravity in younger generations: they were not exposed at early ages to moral imaginative stories. They are always silly, or community-citizen driven animation, but not moral and virtuous stories of old.
If children are only exposed to what is silly – not only are they deprived of learning a correct definition of humor – which is not bodily functions or back-side bearing – but also they are missing the formation and inspiration of virtue, character, and morality. I wish I had read more to my children when they were younger than I did! I am glad we stopped TV, especially children’s shows years ago. But I have not taken special care to ensure the reading of fairy tales. Redeem the time, Lord Jesus!!
Another thought: When the prophet Nathan had to confront David about his manifest transgression against the house of Uriah and against God, he used a story. He had to capture the heart of the shepherd in order to rouse the conscience of the king. When we try to “teach” ethics and morality we only rouse the conscience of the king – and he is a KING!
Don’t we each feel some sense of dignity that needs defending when people are about to accuse us of doing unjustly? – even if we are just surmising what may happen in the future and what we need to do should we be faced with the temptation to do unjustly – well, we are KINGS! We don’t do injustices!
– ah, but we do. All the time, and we justify our injustices. So, our hearts must be got at another way. Is there something or someone ELSE we care for deeply, that we would never want to see hurt – an animal, a child, a lady in distress? Well we would never want to be the cause of pain or penalty for that fair one. And so the moral is embedded in the heart more assuredly than if we tried to forcibly erect it in the conscience. Perhaps the heart is more of a garden than the conscience. And so it is that by time and tending and cultivating this moral imagination, a great plant produces fruit in the conscience that is ready during a time of crisis to be consumed.