I sat nestled in with a children's Bible and my 4 year old son. We were reading the story of Jacob and Esau, and he stopped me suddenly. With a little bit of a whine in his voice he said, "Mama, I don't understand what you're reading to me. It sounds like Spanish." His frustration was clear, and it raised my own frustration, too.
Why isn't this working? I LOVE God's word, and I want my children to love it, too. I want them to read it for themselves, treasuring every page. I want it to breathe life into them and guide every difficult time in their life. This was a children's Bible, but it sure wasn't translating what I had hoped for my 4 year old.
The Language Barrier
I don't think our frustration had anything to do with an obstinate heart or an unwillingness to learn from God's word. The problem was plain and simple. There was a language barrier. Not only were the concepts of a birthright and a blessing challenging for my little one, the words used to tell the story were too advanced and he couldn't stay with it.
We must make sure what we feed our children spiritually is age appropriate. I am all for using God's exact words of scripture and not 'dumbing down' the Bible, but this moment with my son was a clear call for breaking down the language barrier. He needed something shorter and something he could understand.
Sing, Move, and Memorize is intentionally designed to be age appropriate for young children. It focuses on a single verse (maybe 2) that can be read over and over again. The verses are clear and they are powerful.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5
"For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23
It's that simple. It's that profound. One verse speaks straight to the heart of a little one. What's better, it speaks in a way they enjoy it. The book is designed to be sung. So they're hearing a melody to God's word and learning it much more quickly. They're moving with the children in the pictures and using sign language to help them remember it for a lifetime. They're not frustrated with too long a Bible story or language that's confusing. They're enjoying interacting with God's word in a language they can understand, and it's instilling in them a love for God's Word.