At some point in their life all of our children have loved books. Lilah, our youngest, is no exception and may love them more than any of our other children have at this point in their lives. I was reminded of her love for books while driving in the car with her yesterday and I was constantly forced to hand her another “buk, buk.”
After several, several, “buks” being “read” and thrown to the floor she finally settled on one that occupied her attention for several minutes. As I watched her I was reminded of the stages that my children have gone through in reading.
They all started out loving the pictures. As they grew older and we continued to read to them they began to learn particular words and would even know when Dad was skipping pages or skipping words. (Hey, some kid’s books are loooong!) Landon especially knew every word to his favorite books. Picture books, however, don’t last forever and they began to foray into the books with more words than pictures. Finally, they become bored with picture books. Yes, they may pick one up every now and then and be amused but this passes very quickly and they are off to look for something more substantive.
Allow me to skip over into a believer’s personal devotion life. As a youth pastor I was constantly asked by parents about devotionals for their children. I was usually hesitant to recommend much that I knew was available because it really was just a picture book, most of simple colors and shapes. I have even been asked by many adults what I would recommend and I sometimes facetiously reply, “ummm … the Bible.” Listen to what Scripture says about a believer and their spiritual growth:
Hebrews 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
You and I would be disappointed and would be enquiring about the mental growth of our children if they were satisfied with picture books all of their life. As believers we should desire to learn more from God’s Word than just the “picture stories” which are quickly seen. Let’s read with interest and with a desire for understanding.