I am in the process of reading the entire "Chronicles of Narnia" series to my boys. As we complete a book, if there is a series or film based on it, we try to watch it.
Yesterday, we finished "Prince Caspian". There were two shows for us to watch. The first, "Prince Caspian " was the 1989 t.v. mini series. Immediately my boys began to notice differences and similarities between the book and the show. They got about half way through the first episode before we had to turn it off, to go somewhere. When we had the chance to start it up again, they asked me not to, stating they didn't like how much of the book was cut out of it.
This paved the way for a good lesson. I explained to them that the show was one person's interpretation of the book. That, if we hadn't read it, we wouldn't know what they'd left out or what they may have added. The same is true for God's word. If we choose to only listen to what others have to tell us about the Bible, we will miss so much and not know if the information we were given was accurate or not.
So, instead, we began watching the 2008 version of Prince Caspian . To this, they also commented on things that were missing, different, added on, or even put in the wrong order. (Reading comprehension test!) Though they liked it much more than the previous version, they still weren't completely pleased at how different it was from the book.
I drew their attention to how different the movie and series were from each other. We discussed the similarities and differences. I pointed out that the same is true in life. You may hear about what the word says from two different people, but their interpretations may be very different from each other. This can lead to confusion, if you haven't read the Bible for yourself.
It was such a wonderful opportunity to be able to give my sons a parable, or visual, of the importance of knowing things through your own efforts, vs. simply relying on someone else's.
It is just as true for us, as parents, in the importance of teaching our children about God's word and reading it to them ourselves, so that we can discuss it with them, encouraging them to study it, to know it, to apply it. Instead of hoping the church will accomplish that once or twice a week.
The word is a powerful tool, when we use it.