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Talking About the Holy Spirit With Your Kids
by Alison Smith
One Sunday morning I went to pick up my oldest child from her kids’ class at church. It was a large class of hundreds of children, and when I arrived, my daughter had marker all over her arm—because she’d covered her arm with people’s names.
“What happened?” I asked.
The teacher explained, “She got up and would say a name, and every single time, there was someone with that name in the room, and she prophesied over them.”
My daughter was eight. And she didn’t know any of the girls whose names she’d written on her arm.
I just stood there, looking at her teacher and feeling completely blank. How was I supposed to respond to this?
The Holy Spirit and Your Kids
That wasn’t the first time strange things had happened with my daughter.
Even as a young child, she had experiences that were hard for me to explain. Some were obviously demonic and full of fear, but others were clearly good. I began to realize she heard from God in a way that was wild—a way I didn’t know kids COULD hear.
This pushed my husband and me into a journey with God to learn about how the Holy Spirit interacts with our kids and how He communicates in love to them.
We came to understand there isn’t a “junior Holy Spirit.” We first heard that term during our time at Bethel in Northern California, but we’d discovered it years earlier because we had seen it with our own eyes.
Try to Make Things Simple
Sometimes we make it difficult for kids to understand the Holy Spirit when I think He likes to be known simply. My husband and I constantly look for small, everyday ways our kids can interact with Him.
“Ask the Holy Spirit what He thinks.” Or “What does the Holy Spirit say about that?” When they have a bad dream, we’ve taught them to immediately invite Him to come help them.
Cameron and I also keep the Holy Spirit as a focus in our lives so we can be examples of how to walk with Him.
For instance, when they see that I’m talking to the Holy Spirit, that I turn to Him when I’m frustrated or when I’m doing really well, that I thank Him for the things He does, that I pray to Him just like I pray to Jesus and God the Father—they start to realize, “Oh. I can do that too.”
Any chance we get, we invite Him into the situation and try to make it really clear to our kids that the Holy Spirit is a Person they can talk to—Someone who shows up and wants to talk to them. In simple language, we explain that He’s super powerful and He lives in them.
The Holy Spirit’s Reach
This is a topic I’m passionate about because if their connection with the Holy Spirit is strong, if they know how to talk to Him and walk with Him, that “tether” will exist throughout their lives, helping them make right decisions, walk in wisdom, hear God’s voice, and all the other beautiful things the Holy Spirit does.
He can get to all the places that I, as their mom, couldn’t reach even if I tried.