Monday, March 19, 2007

Learning from little children

I have been away for the weekend on alpha. A great time was had and I have in particular found a 4 year old who loves me (aaaah) - not my own child, someone else's!!! There were twelve children on this weekend, some children I knew and some guests' children. All were under 4 except two.

Impromptu worship and prayer broke out really. Amongst the children. I hadn't planned it - and most interestingly of all the child who had never been to church really started it all off by asking if we could do a particular song which I had taught on Friday night. It talks of God being our shield and protector as we lie down to sleep. She and her sister were transfixed by this song.

Children, I believe, are in the heart of God. His heart for them hasn't changed. Even if and when they decide to walk away from him, he still loves them. I think that's why the kingdom of God belongs to "such as these" and that's why they recognise him for who he is. There is a respect for the things of God in little children. They simply love him back. As Judith Gundry-Volf said (hey! I know more of Miroslav's wife's work than I know of Miroslav himself! Sisters UNITE!):

“Children are not mere ignoramuses in terms of spiritual insight in the Gospel tradition. They know Jesus’ true identity. They praise Him as the Son of David (Matthew 21:14-16). They have this knowledge from God and not from themselves and because they do, they are living manifestos to the source of all true knowledge about Christ as from God.”


  1. Anonymous6:34 AM

    I work in the area of gifted eduaction (or as we call them in Scotland children who are more able). This is a really interesting group re children and spirituality - read naything about this? Margaret

  2. Hi Margaret
    I haven't read anything specific. I did read a book called Extraordinary Kids last week but it was about children with learning disabilities.

    I would say that, in respect to God, these children are no different to any other, "fearfully and wonderfully made" and able to make the same responses to him as their peers. It may be that congnitively they make certain responses earlier than others; for example, in John Westerhoff's book "Will our children have faith"; children are described as moving from experiential faith to affiliative faith, then towards searching faith - the asking questions stage, where a child explores, challenges and looks for reality before deciding to own faith for themselves.

    This quesitoning and exploring is a natural phase of faith developmet. Westerhoff deliberately doesn't put ages on any of the stages - I understand why - I would postulate that gifted children would enter that stage chronologically earlier than most.

    Hope this helps

  3. Anonymous3:39 PM

    I can point you in the direction of articles if you're interested on if from the G&T point of view (G&T being gifted and talented not gin and tonic!!). Margaret


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