“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” -C.S. Lewis
Reading is one of my passions. As a kid, I passed countless hours and ruined my eyesight reading The Boxcar Children, Choose Your Own Adventure novels, and Nancy Drew by nightlight, well past my bedtime. As a teenager, I read YA novels and classics while sitting in a Hastings bookstore during my free periods. As an adult, I’ve soaked in the works of a bigger variety of authors, both Christian and others. I’ve read a lot of books, and lived many lives through them.
When I think of books I would have every Christian read, however, my suggestion may surprise you, because I read them for the first time when I was nine years old. To this day, I dedicate a large part of my understanding of Christ’s sacrificial love, and the anticipation of being with Him in heaven, to “The Chronicles of Narnia”.
"Read them to your kids, or enjoy them on your own, and I promise your understanding of and love for Jesus will look different because of it."
Many people have heard of C.S. Lewis, especially in Christian circles. He wrote great and noteworthy works such as “Mere Christianity” and “The Screwtape Letters”. Whimsical, important, interesting theological works, worth a read any day of the week. But in my humble opinion, his most accessible and theologically exegetical book was written for his young goddaughter, Lucy, in 1950. It goes by the title “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”.
In TLWW, a young English girl named Lucy stumbles through a magic wardrobe which transports her to the enchanting world of Narnia. Her three siblings make their way through as well, and a poignant adventure comes into being. Filled with fauns, talking animals, and evil snow queens, this book lives up to every inch of what a children’s adventure story should be. Not exactly everyone’s cup of tea, I know. Let me encourage you by saying that through the hero of the story, a lion named Aslan, the character of Jesus and the Gospel story are mirrored in every plot point. Made to be understood by children, but not at the expense of deep meaning for a reader of any age.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
“The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” is the second in the chronicle of 7 books penned by Lewis, each taking on a new part of his magical land and a different aspect of Aslan’s (and thereby Jesus’s) person. These stories are at varying times hilarious, heartbreaking, pensive, and deep. Read them to your kids, or enjoy them on your own, and I promise your understanding of and love for Jesus will look different because of it.