Children learn to love God’s Word differently than adults.

The first time I became aware of my mom’s love for God’s Word, my brother and I were racing around the living room playing hockey. At some point I noticed my mom calmly reading her Bible on our bright orange couch, and I ran to get my little Gideon New Testament to “read” next to her. I probably sat 20 seconds before getting up and running somewhere else.

Today I laugh with understanding, thinking of my mama reading the Bible with noisy children running around, and I have a strong desire to pass on the love of God’s Word that she shared with me that day.

As an educator and mother, I have noticed that children learn to love God’s Word differently than adults. They’re still learning to read, and lack many higher-level thinking skills adults use as they study the Bible.

Children can also respond in surprising ways when parents teach them about spiritual things. They may get bored quickly. If you ask them if they want to hear what God taught you that morning, they might say no. They don’t pick up the Bible with the combination of discipline and joy that we parents have developed. Instead we may see periods of interest and delight, followed by apparent disinterest.

If we confuse their developmental limitations with a lack of interest, we may miss the very real ways that children are responding to the work of the Holy Spirit within them.

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