Home motherhood/family/parenting Raising Children Who Crave “the Meat”

Raising Children Who Crave “the Meat”

by Kelly Crawford


Last week, a line that I posted from a soldier’s quote about his mother has been ringing in my ears:

“Before our minds could grasp their meaning, simple formulas were fixed in our memories which should afterwards prove lights to guide our steps aright.”

Memorization.  Reading of Scripture and solid, theological catechisms.  These seeds that seem pointless in the ears of young children are in fact cultivating rich soil in their hearts which will prove invaluable to them in later years.

I’ve mentioned the importance of reading Scripture to little ones in previous posts, and I might remind you that the author of Ten Peas in a Pod said he would go to the extreme of waking up his sleeping infants to be present at Bible reading time!

His theory is so logical we miss it!  If you never spoke words to a child until he was capable of understanding them, he would be impaired for life.  I fear we are guilty of raising “spiritually impaired” children in the same practice!  How many adults have you heard lament that they “can’t understand the Bible”?  Could this be one major reason for a church full of spiritual babes?

I was singing a hymn the other day and I realized I knew the words to so many songs I heard repetitively as a tiny child; comparatively, I still have to look up the words to hymns I’ve only learned as an adult, in spite of having sung them many times.

Those words were planted, even before I could read them or sing them.  They are still there, and now “afterwards prove lights to guide my steps aright”.

One simple exercise I try to do with my children is quote Psalm 1 to them as soon as I bring them home from the hospital each time I change their diaper.  It’s just a consistent time that I can remember to pour God’s Word into their hearts.  (Psalm 1 is the first chapter our children memorize.)

Just a reminder–let’s remember the supernatural work that is going on in those rapidly absorbing minds of our children.  It’s OK to read the cutesie stories; but don’t forget the meat, because if you wait, they may never crave more than the milk!

You may also like


Bethany Hudson May 15, 2009 - 12:11 am

I agree with everything you’ve said here, Kelly. I think it’s so important for us to realize that we not only need to impart bible stories and lessons and hymns to our children (after all, all these things are their inheritance as the children of believers) but we owe it to them to read them REAL SCRIPTURE–not watered down Sunday School versions only. Certainly, they may understand the “stories” more than they understand the verses we share with them, but it is in the verses of God’s Holy Word that they are coming into contact with Him Who IS the Word! By reading our children Scripture, we are bringing them to the feet of our Lord, to hear His very words to them! Would we stop telling our children that we love them because they are too young to “understand?” No! Why deny them this gift from their Heavenly Father?

Lisa Hellwig May 15, 2009 - 5:00 am

As I nurse my sweet 21-month-old before his mid-day nap, he begins singing the hymns he loves best, for me to sing to him while he nurses. When I finish it he insists on the next, with the opening words,”Holy, holy,holy…”
Fill in the blanks psalm-memorization is perfect for this age. Learning to sit while Daddy reads the Scriptures, and to be quiet out of respect for his father and his Heavenly Father’s words, being present at every meal so that the Word is his first course, and physical food his second course is crucial.
This is giving them life indeed. The first words he should lisp should be God’s Word. How sweet to hear the rich vocabulary children weaned on Scripture use in their daily lives.
Thank you, Kelly, for such an important post.

Deanna May 15, 2009 - 6:16 am

Wonderful sharing, thank you. This is so true and simple, yet so many don’t do it!
I have shared portions of this at my blog and am definitely going to keep your link handy to share with everyone. I have been very blessed visiting here.

Kim M. May 15, 2009 - 8:47 am

So very true!

Katie LaPierre May 15, 2009 - 9:00 am

love it! especially the part about reciting psalm 1 while changing diapers, what a great idea. I am going to start some memorizing today! ;0)

Mrs W May 15, 2009 - 9:11 am

I do a Bible verse with my boys each day even though they are only 21 months and almost 10 months old. The oldest still can’t SPEAK the verse back to me, but I can tell that it is in his heart. When I start to say it he gets highly excited and does his little “chatter”. He tries to form some of the words in his chatter. It’s the same when we sing some of the songs to him. I try to do devotions with my boys when we get up in the morning, and then again when we go to bed. For one I’ll use a chapter from the Bible, and another a chapter from a Bible story book, so they are getting both the meat of the word and a little something they might understand better.

But, I think they will understand Scripture much earlier in life if they are actually exposed to the real deal earlier.

Rachel Falaschi May 15, 2009 - 9:58 am

I began teaching my children bible memorization with the learning of ABC’s. Each letter has a verse that goes with it. By the time they learn the alphabet, they have 26 bible verses memorized. People are amazed when they say their abc’s by reciting verses. If children can recite their favorite movies at 2, why not the bible?

Carrie May 15, 2009 - 10:03 am

Thank you so much for posting this! Right now I’m soaking up all of the child training tips I can and this is definitely something I’ve been wondering about. How do I point my toddler, who can’t even talk yet, to the Lord? So thank you, thank you for sharing this!

Kelly L May 15, 2009 - 10:21 am

Thanks for another great post. You are being used by God in a mighty way. Keep up the obedience!

Bethany Hudson May 15, 2009 - 11:02 am

Rachel – “If children can recite their favorite movies at 2, why not the bible?” Great point! I wonder if we (as a culture) have begun to think that just because we can memorize something without fully understanding it that it is somehow hypocritical? But, what about all the things we “learn” when we are young that are the building blocks of later life? Like phonics and counting…I learned phonics a year before I could read a word, playing word/sound games with my mother. Is it so wrong that my children might learn Scripture by heart a year or so before they can really put it into practice?

Lucy T May 15, 2009 - 12:46 pm

I am heart broken,convicted,and as always greatful. Kelly,You will never know what a great impact you are making.

The Cottage Child May 15, 2009 - 1:11 pm

So true – we are threading together 1Cor 12:4-7
It’s amazing how those little minds work – their memory is astonishing, first of all – how middle age haunts me – I still have to check the text, they just KNOW IT! Second, they get it – this is the age where all the nuances of language seem to make the most sense, all those synapses are firing. The maturity will come, but miss this window and it’s much more difficult for them to internalize it later. (I know, I’m having difficulty with some of it now!).

Sarah May 15, 2009 - 2:53 pm


Oh that mother’s would take to heart the seriousness of teaching their precious children the Word of God, and live an example of holiness for them to follow with earnest prayer for them.

Thank you for this wonderful post!

Word Warrior May 15, 2009 - 4:31 pm

I really appreciate the encouraging comments…please know I don’t want to take credit for “making an impact”, though it’s comments like that are what really keep me ignited and seeking the Lord for more topics to share. He really does lay the burden on my heart and I can’t keep from writing 🙂 I’m so thankful for this avenue where I am EQUALLY encouraged by our little “community” 😉

Mother of Dog May 15, 2009 - 4:58 pm

I’m not sure why you deleted my comment, Kelly – I think you’d make a fortune with temporary Bible Verse tattoos – and I’m giving you the idea for FREE! You can attach them on their arms and legs, and that way you’ll always have the scripture to guide them.

Genius 🙂

Leslie Viles May 16, 2009 - 7:36 am

Psalm 119:11 says “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” I certainly have been lax about memorization with my children and myself. Every day I learn more about what God wants me to do and today is a new day to start doing it.

authenticallyme May 16, 2009 - 8:44 pm

I have certain verses I have put up in my home….mostly ones I needed to encourage and remind me of Christs words….with my children, and with myself, I sometimes find it helpful to explain in terms they understand. I too, memorized many things in life, but like you Kelly, even as an adult had to ‘revisit’ words and meanings. At times memorization seems rote and mundane; it doesnt really permeate the mind or soul (to me). Im not saying that doesnt make it profitable, but for me memorization alone didnt illuminate meaning to me. I have to read the bible a lot, repeating chapters to really grasp, sometimes.

Its kind of like when my parents alowed me to watch television shows or movies that were not child-suitable, or ‘beyond me. They had sexual innuendos and the like, and off-color jokes, but as a child they meant nothing to me. I am not saying being allowed to watch whatever I wanted on televsion didnt harm me; i know it had its negatives……in the same way verses repeated without understanding seems futile to me, in one sense. I sent my children to awanas when I was younger, and dont think it did a bit of good…..waste of (our families)time. Plus, it wasnt a very well laid out scripture memory ‘plan’ anyway.

Songs I suppose can be a great way to memorize-but often I find myself remembering the melody, and not really the words so much. 🙁

Belinda May 16, 2009 - 9:59 pm

You do have a point about rote memorization seeming mundane. However, if we can “catch” some of it in our adult lives through sermons and such then maybe our children can too. I find myself saying “what was the preacher saying about Ephesians?”(or whatever book), then I have to go look it up and dig deeper. If we teach this as habit when our children are young as in “what does God’s word say about this?” then we have begun a good habit with them.

I , too, remember the shows i didn’t “get” when I was little. But, I thought about them later(sometimes years later) and could not believe I was allowed to watch them. I want my children to think this about me but in a more positive light.”Oh, that’s what mom was trying to say!” or ” I remember my parents quoting that verse!(or singing a song)” and it bringing back fond memories and a sense of home and where they belong. Just what they need,maybe, when they need it.

authenticallyme May 17, 2009 - 8:09 am

YES, Belinda; I see it as you do! I do look back on my childhood and see things I dont want to repeat (im not blaming my parents; I am no one to point a finger here)….I agree it being planted in the mind is a start, and someday later it ‘resurfaces’ for good consideration! I DO repeat what God says….I dont alwasy say its God becasue though I want my kids to recognize God, I also want them to recognize other goodnesses that come from God out in the world, and not separate and judge things in two distinct piles. It has been more beneficial for me)to get the main points of what Christ said (which often involves reading and rereading in *detail* anyhow!). I really do beleive all good things come from God….but they are not always labeled as religious or a Godly concept out in the world….even though He made them. More than anything, I desire for my children to be discerning…a tool i seriously lacked…Im just saying that memorization hasnt always been the best way to keep Gods ways inside my heart or mind. Thats all.

Fun Links « Mvlegacy’s Weblog May 21, 2009 - 10:50 am

[…] can I expose Drew to God’s truth when he doesn’t even talk? This post shares some practical ways to do just […]


Leave a Comment

Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram

Post Category

motherhood/family/parenting Uncategorized christian living homeschooling pregnancy/birth control marriage frugal living/saving money large families public school abortion feminism dating/courtship church/children's ministry entrepreneur pictures

Author's Picks

Why We Should Encourage Our Kids to Marry Young 220 comments Two Children are a Heritage From the Lord (After That, You Should Know... 173 comments Population Control Through Tetanus Vaccine 127 comments

Latest posts

The Power of Gathering Around the Table: Beyond Hospitality 0 comment Weddings, Getting Older, Navigating a Large Family & God’s Goodness 33 comments Help My Friends Find Their Child Through Adoption 0 comment The Shocking Truth About Education 2 comments

Copyright ©2023 Generationcedar. All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by Duke