If you want to help your children nurture their faith as individuals and within their relationships, these four must-read picture books dealing with Christian relationships can provide the guidance you need. Through understanding, love, and accountability, each story will remind you and your kids that they can have a fulfilling relationship with others. Likewise, they will discover that the relationship formed with their creator has a greater purpose.
The Little Pot
In the first book about Christian relationships, we meet a potter and a vessel named Little Pot. This book will teach children (and adults) about the value of patience and the loving omniscience of God. Soon after a potter lovingly forms a new pot and declares that he has significant plans for his creation, the little pot begins to wonder about its purpose. Will it be wise and hold essential papers? Maybe prosperous and hold expensive coins. Or, it might be beautiful and grow flowers. The little pot is cautioned to wait and see as its various expectations prove wrong.
Gradually, Little Pot realizes its creator knows best and has the best plans for it. Readers will recognize that the same is true for them: like the little pot, they were designed to be vessels that bear fruit. Anyone who has ever had trouble seeing God working in their life will realize that, while His work may not always be evident, it is always there. The warm illustrations beautifully enhance this charming allegory about patience and fulfillment. A valuable teaching tool for parents and educators, The Little Pot is a simple yet profound story about inevitable reversals. Many generations will enjoy its timeless message to come.
The Tea Pot is 2nd in the books about Christian relationships.
After Little Pot discovers it can grow fruit for the potter, it becomes proud. The potter makes another vessel and names it the Tea Pot. The relationship between Tea Pot and Little Pot is complicated. Little Pot compares itself to the teapot, wondering if making tea is better than growing fruit. The teapot is selfish and wants to keep the tea that the potter makes inside it. This story also illustrates peer pressure, as Tea Pot convinces Little Pot not to share its fruit. Through this story, we see that Christian relationships can lead us astray too. Ultimately, the vessels realize they need the potter and begin serving him and others.
The Oil Lamp.
Third on the list of books about Christian relationships is The Oil Lamp. Tea Pot and Little Pot watch in this book as the potter makes another vessel named Oil Lamp. It is tiny and shy. The potter fills the little container with oil and gives it a wick. The oil lamp is too scared to shine and hides under a bowl. Eventually, the oil lamp becomes brave and then burns too brightly. The other vessels feel scorched and reject the light of the oil lamp. As readers follow the events, they learn their boldness can turn people away from God.
While the other vessels enjoy destructive behaviors in the darkness, Little Pot and Tea Pot want to help the oil lamp. They show oil lamp love and share their testimonies. The Oil Lamp is then ready to shine again. Once the potter reignites the lamp, he places it on a lampstand to give light to all. This book teaches us a lot about how our Christian relationships affect others.
Burnout Fit In
The fourth book in our books about Christian relationships is brand new. It will be released on May 1, 2023, and follows Oil Lamp’s journey after it is elevated to a leadership position. Burnout Fit In is a critical story about Christian relationships. You do not have to look hard to find Christian leaders who have shown us toxic relationships. I witnessed this several years ago in the church where I had faithfully served for over twenty-five years. That experience and recent events in the news told me that our Christian institutions have continually elevated pastors and leaders, allowing them to be in positions where they have taken advantage of others.
Christian leadership and toxic relationships
For example, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill was a popular podcast by Mike Cosper. It tells the story of Mark Driscol, an abusive superstar pastor who left many Christians questioning their faith. Likewise, an alarming number of pastors have been charged with abusing children. Additionally, Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News reported that 380 Christian leaders in Southern Baptist Churches faced allegations of sexual misconduct—over 700 victims between 1998 to 2019. Catholic churches were not any better. Therefore, in light of what our world sees as Christian relationships, I felt it was essential to address what can happen if we allow a position or assignment from God to keep us out of healthy Christian relationships.
Loneliness among Christian relationships
This book begins where The Oil Lamp book ends. Oil Lamp now serves the potter and shines brightly for the other vessels. The potter elevated it above the different pottery pieces. However, its high location causes it to look down on the others, and over time, it begins to think it is untouchable. As time passes, the Oil Lamp becomes lonely and starts running out of oil. Biblically, oil represents the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, Oil Lamp burns out. It looks to the potter for more. However, the potter uses another lonely vessel to refill the lamp.
The vessel he uses is a cracked jar that sits alone among the ashes. Its wound allows the right amount of oil to seep into the lamp. Additionally, the shape of the pot fits in the opening of the Oil Lamp. Our creator fills us with the Holy Spirit through the experiences of others. When children (and adults) read this book, they realize that God can use our pain to help others. They also understand that everyone needs healthy Christian relationships.
Christian Relationships are necessary to grow the fruit of the Spirit.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are cultivated when the Holy Spirit works. God produces this fruit as we surrender to His will for our lives. However, understanding how to become fruit-bearing vessels is a God-sized calling and one of the most important things we do as followers of Christ. Likewise, I’ve seen how God produces the fruit Spirit, and I’ve explained the process in seven steps. I have used these steps with children, teachers, and parents. It includes the three areas of spiritual, social, and academic growth. You’ll become a fruit-bearing vessel and have stronger Christian relationships.
If you join me on this fruit-bearing journey, we will see how God works in our lives and with others around us. In addition, you’ll receive a short, fruitful Friday email each week. Just type in your email address and name below.
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