Role models are important for kids.
While parents tend to be good role models, most children start following and emulating other figures, like athletes, to try to understand what kind of person to be in this world, according to ABC News. Children have also looked to superhero sidekicks to be their heroes. But superstar athletes and superheroes aren't the only place kids can look for role models.
According to the 2014 State of the Bible, 88 percent of homes own a copy of the Bible, with there being about four Bibles in each home. And 37 percent of Americans will read the Bible once a week or more, the survey found. The Bible is one of the best-selling books of all time, and one of the most influential on Facebook.
In addition to building faith, the Bible may be the source of your kids' next role model.
Here are 13 characters in the Bible that could offer inspiration for children across the United States today:
Moses is the true rags to riches story, going from being one of three children to being placed in a basket and winding up in the hands of Egypt’s Pharaoh, according to chabad.org, a religion information website. Later, Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt after calling down the 10 plagues, among other events. He still followed God’s orders and looked to save those who were less fortunate than him.
Noah’s one of the more inspirational Bible characters, too. Hearing God’s word, Noah built an arc and assembled animals two-by-two, and saved them from the dangerous flood that was about to occur, according to Bible Gateway. Noah’s triumph of saving his family and many animals from God’s rainstorm shows that no matter how down you may get, there are always ways of saving others, rising above disaster and navigating life's storms.
It’d be hard not to list Jesus as one of the role models from the Bible. In fact, he would be the perfect role model. Although he worked as a carpenter, Jesus was the Son of God. He was crucified, dying for people’s sins, and was later resurrected — with believers now waiting for his return. Aspiring to be the Son of God may be a tall order, but Jesus preached love and devotion at nearly every turn, which makes him certainly worthy of being a role model for kids.
Abraham is certainly worthy of being a role model for kids. Told he had to kill and sacrifice one of his sons, Abraham was fully willing to go through with the sacrifice — until an angel stopped him, according to Bible Gateway. Instead, Abraham sacrificed a ram, saving his son Isaac’s life. Abraham’s story shows the true power of sacrifice, and that sometimes what you’re looking for and what you want to achieve may be possible in other ways than you initially think.
With a mere sling, David toppled one of the biggest men ever known. His story has taken on many modern forms, too, and is used in modern language as a reference to overcoming a tough challenge or adversary. David’s rise from zero to hero is inspiring enough for any kid to try and succeed, and reminds us that no giant is unbeatable.
The mother of Jesus is someone for young people to definitely look up to. Even though she gave birth to the Savior and Son of God, Mary remained humble. Staying modest and keeping herself from touting high achievements was something Mary did that young people can take to heart.
Just because things get bad, doesn’t mean they’ll stay bad. Job was the object of Satan’s devilish attention, as the devil cast spell upon spell on Job — striking his livestock with lightning, blowing down his house and killing his family. But in the end, God admitted to Job this was a part of his plan and that Job would be wealthy for the rest of his existence. The story of Job shows that perseverance will help you get through anything. And that no matter how dark things get, there’s a bright side waiting for you.
Samson had to go through some serious dark times. According to About Christianity, Samson’s secret love for Delilah eventually led to some hardships. Samson’s eyes were taken out and he had to labor for years as a slave, his hair growing long and his eyes growing tired. But Samson sacrificed himself by taking down the Philistine’s temple, fulfilling his call from birth and God’s plan. Following through on the plan despite the harship — hopefully not by death — is something kids can take away from Samson.
After men in their family died, Ruth and Naomi traveled to Bethlehem to recover from the loss of love. While there, Ruth met Boaz, a rich man and relative of Naomi. The two fell in love and were bewedded. It's a classic tale of finding someone you love and sticking with them, no matter how tough times may be. It also shows the value of friendship, with Ruth and Naomi both staying true to each other and remaining friends despite the new loves and problems that came their way.
Joshua led the Israelites into one of the most famous battles of all time, the Battle of Jericho. He led a group to the city of Canaan and had them surround the city. Eventually, he called for them to come in and take the city. His leadership ability is a great example for all.
You can’t run away from your fears. The story of Jonah from the Bible can tell you all about that. He was told by God to call the people of Nineveh to repent, according to About Religion. But he didn’t, and instead he found himself in a violent storm while out at sea. When thrown overboard, he was saved by a large fish, thanks to God’s intermingling, and was later returned to land. The story shows that running from your fears doesn’t work. Eventually, you’ll have to try and conquer them.
Esther was chosen to be the Jewish queen, but her story is far more than just sitting among gold and riches. Esther helped thwart a plan to assisinate the king, and helped save the lives of many Jewish people. Her heroics led to the creation of the Purim Jewish Holiday, according to About Religion. Esther's ability to stand on her own and defy those who had so much power in the kingdom goes to show that there is no need to cowar in the face of danger, and that even the richest and mightiest of foes can be tackled.
Peter was an apostle, and the Cathollics consider him the first pope. He was the spokesman for the Twelve Apostles, despite his rough and aggressive nature, according to About Religion. Though Peter did deny Jesus three times during the Son of God’s trial, Peter went on to preach the word of God, and has since taken on a huge reputation within the Roman Catholic Church. So what can kids learn from Peter? Sometimes, what’s seen on the outside isn’t the only thing worth embracing, and that we can all change.
Ever heard of Shamgar? Well, that’s probably because not much is known about him, according to Patheos’ Bible Stories. That said, what is known about Shamgar is that he assassinated 600 Philistines with an ox-goad — a farming tool from back in that time. Killing 600 people in battle with farming equipment? Let’s see other role models like James Bond or Jason Bourne do that.
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