Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Children <> spiritual understanding? I think not...

I recently listened to a podcast saying that all children do not have the mental capacity to understand spiritual ideas and thoughts.  As I listened, trying to understand where this pastor was coming from, I found myself getting more and more agitated as what he said absolutely did not jive with what I have experienced... at all.

What follows is just a recent example of many:

Last Sunday the kids and I continued our discussion on the many "I Am's" of Jesus and talked together about what Jesus meant when he said in John 6:35 that He is the Bread of Life.

For kids, who tend to take things pretty literally, Jesus' statement of being bread conjured weird and funny pictures in their minds... one child started laughing and said that she didn't know that Jesus was a loaf of bread, another said he wasn't ever going to eat bread again :)

Still another child, a 6 year-old, connected some dots regarding communion.  He remembered that when we take communion we say, "This is my body, broken for you..." as we eat the bread.  This led to a wonderful discussion and an opportunity for me to explain that just as the bread we eat sustains our physical bodies, Jesus sustains our spiritual bodies.  Too little of either kind of bread and our bodies get weak and ultimately die... physically or spiritually.

As we were discussing this, one of my students, an 8 year-old, shot up his hand and said, "Pastor Beau!  I think I understand!"  Clearly a lightbulb had gone on and he was excited!

This is what he said:

Reaching out for the Bread of Life is like asking God into your heart.
Chewing it is accepting Jesus into your heart.
Washing it down with water is praying every day.
Digesting it is keeping your faith in God.

I told him, "You know what just happened here?  The Holy Spirit just talked to you!  A little thought packet from Heaven."

I asked him to write it down so we wouldn't forget and here's what he gave me:


Who says that kids can't grasp spiritual ideas and thoughts?

Not me... and certainly not Jesus :)

Today I encourage you to ask your children what they think about something spiritual (who is God, who is Jesus, tell me about what Jesus did for us, what is sin, etc...).  I think you'll be amazed at what they tell you.  Besides, starting a spiritual conversation with your children is never a bad thing.  It gives us a glimpse into their thoughts about God and a chance for us to speak truth into their lives (and the other way around!).  We should do it more often.

If you need some help talking to your children about spiritual things or if you just want to talk to someone about kids and God in general, drop me an email.  I would LOVE to chat with you as we discover God's will for our children and families together!

On this journey with you,

Pastor Beau

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking time to write this experience! I absolutely loved it. Your kids are so in-tune! I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and know this is one doctrine we can completely teach to our children too. I just love Christ and how we can learn to be happy if we follow Him. :) - Linda