My twin boys turned seven yesterday. It’s hard to believe how big they’re growing and how fast. It was fun to pull out their old baby pictures and hospital photos to show them my memories of their first moments of life outside of my body. And it even wasn’t so bad showing them the scar from which they entered the world. They’re old enough now to see it and understand it. They’re old enough to know a lot of things.
Dave and I decided from the beginning that our children would be taken to church and taught what Jesus said as well as everything else in the Holy Bible. Not just because it was the right thing to do, but also because we just wanted to. We didn’t know if they would accept Jesus Christ as Savior or understand a single word of the Bible, but we knew we had to be obedient to the Lord so we took them to church. As it turns out, they’re understanding God pretty well.
It seems that many times parents tend to think that their children aren’t as capable of understanding things as they really can. I remember when my oldest went to kindergarten and how he was expected to learn to read and write a book report by the end of the year. I thought the school was crazy! How in the world can a six-year-old possibly write a book report and then orally present it to the class? Well, with a little prepping help from mom and dad, my son aced it. And that’s when I began to learn what kids can do.
We don’t give them enough credit. We underestimate their abilities. And we definitely tend to believe that kids just don’t get it, especially when it comes to the Bible. But the truth is they really do! Kids can do amazing things! I’m not saying they’re all eligible for Mensa, the genius club. But they do understand quite a bit more than we think.
The reason is when we take them to church, even as infants, they start down the path of understanding God and the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Each Sunday they grow deeper in knowledge, and as we apply that knowledge every day they grow in wisdom. As it says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go…” and eventually it begins to stick.
For example, my boys and I went outside to play today and for some reason I brought up that something was just meant to be. And that’s when one of my twins piped up with, “Well, that’s because God has a plan for everyone. And He never forgets His plan!”
I stood joyfully amazed at the truth coming out of my little boy’s mouth. He gets it! I admit I secretly did a little happy dance.
The boys are still a bit young to fully accept, understand and commit to Jesus for a lifetime. In some churches, it’s called the age of accountability. They’re not there yet. As much as they understand, there’s still more to learn before they can make that full decision to follow Jesus forever. So, for now, we concentrate on learning the characteristics of God and who He is and why Jesus was sent to us. We continue to learn what a mighty and loving God we serve. We learn how He will never leave us or forsake us. That He is always willing to forgive and He is full of grace. We learn that one day He is coming again to defeat Satan and establish His kingdom once and for all. And we learn how to prepare ourselves for service in His name and for His glory. I believe that when the time is right they will make their decision for Christ in their own way.
Birthdays will come and go, but the word of God will never pass away. On this, my boys’ seventh trip around the sun, I am thankfully reminded that I don’t have to dumb down God for them. They truly understand His great love for them and His promise of eternal life for them. I can feel confident that they get it and really understand it. That’s the power of love. That’s the power of God.
Happy Birthday, Christian and Matthew! What a blessing you are to your family. We love you!
– Mom, Dad, and Nicholas