Several months ago I was in a Bible study class and a mom of older children encouraged us younger moms to teach our little ones about the Holy Spirit. She made a great point that a lot of churches don’t really explain what the Holy Spirit’s role is, and it has really been on my mind a lot the last several months.
Often at church, you hear God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. We hear a lot about God the Father and God the Son, being Jesus. But not a whole lot is taught about the Holy Spirit. I honestly don’t remember any lessons about the Holy Spirit growing up in a Southern Baptist church-going home. The lessons were all about biblical history with the people that make up a lot of stories in the Bible like Jonah and David, but the Holy Spirit is left out of a lot of teaching.
So for me, as a mama, I want to change that culture in our home. I desire to teach our daughter and have open dialogue with who He is so that prayerfully as she grows both physically and spiritually that she will be able to hone in on the very important role that the Holy Spirit plays in each of our lives as a believer in Christ.
What or Who is He?
The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
At the time Jesus was being baptized by John the Baptist he said, “As Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw Heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you, I am well pleased.'” Mark 1:10-10-11.
- The Holy Spirit is God.
- He is a gift from God after Jesus’ ascension. (John 16:5-7)
- He convicts those with guilt and guides in Truth. (John 16:8-13)
- He alone changes hearts. (Matthew 12:34-36, John 3:8)
- He guides us away from wrong decisions (Romans 8:5-9)
- He sets us free from laws of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
- He helps us in our weakness and helps us pray. (Romans 8:26-27)
- He lives inside us once we become a believer in Christ. (John 14:16-17)
The list goes on and on. But Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, or Counselor depending on your translation (John 14:17). The Holy Spirit is Jesus living inside each of us once we place our faith in Jesus Christ.
So, how do you introduce the Holy Spirit to your little ones?
My answer? In simple everyday conversation! Don’t feel pressured to have some big lesson ready or feel like you need to have all of the answers when it comes to the Holy Spirit. Because that’s impossible for us.
So if you need it, here is your permission to not have to know all the answers!
When your child is having a hard day say, “Did you know you always have a friend with you? He is called the Holy Spirit. He is how Jesus lives inside each of us.”
If they do something caring or kind for someone encourage them by saying, “I’m really proud of you! Did you know that God encourages us to be kind to others through His Holy Spirit.”
Say His name as much as you do God or Jesus because after all, the Holy Spirit is God living in each of us.
Here are a couple of real-life conversations I had with our daughter about the Holy Spirit.
The first was after church and we wanted to go eat somewhere. When we got to where she picked the line was out the door. (It’s an amazing Southern biscuit cafe!) So I told her I didn’t want to wait because we also had other errands. She got upset, but I calmly mentioned that sometimes we don’t get to do what we want and it’s important to honor God by being ok with that. (It was my best try at warding off a 4-year-old meltdown) Thankfully she was fine after a couple minutes.
Later, we were waiting for groceries at the curbside pick up, and she mentioned that she really wanted to get upset with me about not going to the restaurant, but she decided not to. So we had a sweet chat that that was the Holy Spirit working on her heart and mind to keep her actions in check. It was a simple conversation, but it taught her that she has a Helper Who, when she allows, guides her decisions to either make good choice or a bad one.
The second happened at bedtime. She really wanted to play with a flashlight in the dark, but I was tired and had a headache, and often times she waves it around so much that it gets directed right into my eyes. So I said not tonight. Well she made it known very quickly that that was not ideal. 🙂 She immediately threw herself on her bed and said, “Then I don’t even want you to lay with me, just go to bed!” I just as quickly let her know that her behavior was not appropriate, and she responded with a half-hearted apology and begging me to still lay and talk with her before she fell asleep.
Several minutes later I tucked her in and left her room. She called for me because she needed to tell me something. I went back in; she remembered she forgot to apologize for what she said. After we chatted a minute and she told me why she needed to apologize, I was able to encourage her that the Holy Spirit was Who reminded her that she needed to apologize for her words. I also told her that I was proud of her for listening to Him and apologizing.
It takes a lot of pressure off when we introduce the Holy Spirit in conversation. Has she asked questions that I don’t know the answers to? Of course! Will your kids? Of course!
But when we tell our kids that we don’t know the answer but we will find out, that shows them that they don’t have to know it all one day either. It’s ok to continually learn. None of us will ever know everything about God, the Trinity, or even all the historical facts that are easier to pull out of scripture.
So give yourself grace, and just open a dialogue of teaching your child that they have the power of God inside their little hearts through the Holy Spirit.
I pray this gives you encouragement as you start a conversation about the Holy Spirit with your children and how He guides us through our days, comforts us when we are sad, and encourages us to make good choices.
In Him, Tamara
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