Long Story Short: Cain and Abel

When we originally decided to use Long Story Short by Marty Machowski for both our family devotions and the basis for our Bible lessons, my mind automatically went into “school mode” and I scheduled regular breaks as I plotted the months up until Christmas, the first one being last week when we were heading off on vacation.  However, the boys have been so enthusiastic about Bible time every evening that Eric and I realized there was no real reason not to bring the book along with us and continue on.  The story for the week was on Cain and Abel, and it wasn’t exactly one I had a lot of “extras” planned for anyway.  So it was a lighter week, but here’s what we did.

In addition to the 5 nights of devotions in the book, we spent one night reading the story out of The Gospel Story Bible (also by Marty Machowski), and another night discussing Ephesians 4:26, which in the English Standard Version reads, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”  I thought it was an important verse for us to discuss with our boys.  Even at their young ages, they struggle with how to respond to their anger appropriately.  From some of the books I’ve read on raising boys, this is going to be a constant battle as they grow up.  We had a really good talk that night.  I think it meant a lot to them to know that we acknowledged the way they feel toward each other at times, while helping them to learn how they should respond.  Cain may not have set a very good example, but sometimes we can learn best from other people’s mistakes.

Go-Along Books

The one book we read to go along with this story was Cain and Abel: Finding the Fruits of Peace by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso.  It expands on the biblical account by including some ideas from Hebrew midrash, and the illustrations are bold and colorful.

Reading Practice

Because we were away from home, I didn’t try to find any easy readers related to this story, but I did bring along word cards for our Bible memory verse so Ian could practice reading and both boys could work on memorizing Genesis 4:7.  I also set the words to the tune of “Are You Sleeping,” and after singing it a few times they had it down the first day:

Sin is crouching (sin is crouching) at the door (at the door)

It’s desire is for you, but you must rule over it. Genesis four verse seven

Bible Notebook

Have you watched any of the What’s in the Bible? DVDs?  They are a fabulous tool for teaching about the Bible!  Ian is just starting to get into them, so we watched Volume 1 – In the Beginning, which gives an overview of the structure of the Bible and starts teaching about Genesis.  When it talks about sin, it shows these funny little guys clinging to people’s backs.  I was a little unsure of that way of illustrating sin, but we talked about what sin really is, and when we discussed our memory verse it helped explain how to “rule over” sin.

When I taught the boys the memory verse I acted out each phrase, and when we got to that last part, we stomped our feet to show we were ruling over sin.  So for our Bible notebook page, it seemed appropriate to do a paint footprint.  We made “doors” out of construction paper that opened up on the footprint.


This verse made a big impression on the boys.  Every night Elijah has added, “Help me to rule over sin,” to his prayer, and Ian loves talking about how he should “stomp on sin.”


We didn’t spend as much time as usual on our “Listening Lesson” this week, but here’s what it contained:

The catechism questions left off on kind of a dark note, but we’ll get to the good news as we go along!


Posted on September 12, 2012, in Bible lessons, Long Story Short, Preschool, The Gospel Story and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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