I remember when our children stopped ordering from the kids menu at restaurants and started ordering from the adult menu. It took a few years for them to get to the point that they would be interested in “grown up food”. In fact, when they were babies, their bodies wouldn’t even have been able to tolerate many foods. But as they grew, not only were they able to eat more of a variety of foods, but their interest grew and they actually wanted to try different things. It was a slow process and, honestly, I remember wondering if they would ever get past the stage of wanting to eat the same things every day.
It takes time for little ones to be able to eat certain things and to grow in their interest in trying new and different foods. When it comes to teaching our children about God, it is very similar to this process. It takes awhile for them to learn and truly absorb the truth of God’s Word, and it takes years for them to grow in their understanding.
We, as parents, have been given the incredible privilege of teaching our children about God. At times the responsibility can seem overwhelming. When my children were young, I would become fearful and wonder if they were “getting it”. I had so many desires for my kids and thought I could accomplish certain things. God had to show me that the learning process takes time, and it was really up to Him to do the work in my children.
One particular incident stands out to me. My kids were about 5 and 8 years old. I was worried about their spiritual growth and decided to talk with my pastor about it. After sharing my concerns, he looked at me and said, “Well, what exactly are expecting from children their age?” Then he encouraged me to pray the following prayer for my children:
“Father, please cause to ring in my children’s ears what YOU think they need to hear today, and cause them to have understanding on THEIR level”
That is when God began the process of opening my eyes to the fact that my children are in a process of growth and learning (just like I am!) They were so little, and I was kind of trying to stuff a huge steak down their throat hoping they could handle it. They weren’t ready for a huge steak!
If you are faithfully sharing God’s truths with your children, I want you to know you are doing well! Don’t stop. Don’t get discouraged. Persevere and Pray.
7 Prayers You Can Pray:
- That God will cause to ring in your children’s ears what He thinks they need to hear.
- That God will give your children understanding on their level.
- That God will draw your children to Himself.
- That the truths your children hear will become a reality in their lives.
- That you will trust God’s timing as he does His work in your children’s heart.
- That you will have wisdom to know what you should teach your children.
- That your life would be an authentic example that is used in your children’s lives to point them to God.
Remember that you are in this for the long haul. You are laying a foundation for the years of learning, growing, maturing, and comprehending that is ahead for your children. Ultimately, God is the one to do the work in their heart. That takes a lot of pressure off parents! I find that to be very freeing!