In his seminar, ”Teaching Children to Know and Love God by Knowing and Loving Theology,” Dr. Bruce Ware explains the importance of understanding the “progression of truth” as we teach our children. He lays out the progression as follows:
Head → Heart→ Hands→ Habitat
or another way of stating it…
Knowing → Loving → Living →Transforming
Why start with the “head”? Why not jump right to their heart? Dr. Ware explains,
The mind’s understanding (knowing the truth) is necessary for the heart’s engagement with that truth (loving the truth). Knowing the truth provides the possibility and basis for loving the truth.
- With children, the first priority in what we can assist them with is the “head”–knowing the truth. Since most younger children are not saved, the “heart” is not ready to be touched fully. And even when saved, some maturity and reflection is needed to begin to sense the weightiness of truth. Knowing the truth as fully and accurately is crucial all else.
- Children are curious, by nature, and have many questions. Resist the urge to squelch this curiosity and questioning due to not knowing how to answer them.
- Take them to the Bible, so they learn that the authority you have and they also should have is God’s word. Resist the urge to apply your parental authority in making them believe the truth. Help them, even as young children, to be like the Bereans who search the Scriptures to see if this is so.
(Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)