• Kirstyn Oliver

Impact, Experience and Understanding who God is.

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

How much does a child understand? How much of that understanding do we (adults) have knowledge of? A child (and adults alike), is influenced by their surroundings. Everyone and everything impacts the way a child behaves, learns and plays.

Our whole lives are based on experiences: good, bad and in between. Those experiences will shape the way we live our lives from that day onwards. They will influence behaviours from that day onwards. Last but not least, they will impact our understanding of the world, from that day onwards. Therefore, every day, every hour and every new experience we will learn and understand the world differently.

How do we know what has influenced our children and if they have had a new understanding or not. The truth is, we will never know it all. However, that´s not the only truth. Although we cannot always measure understanding and the impact on children´s lives, we can see their progress, development and how they grow into amazing young people. Some aspects of progress are easier to see than others. That doesn´t mean other experiences haven´t had an impact. It just means, children don´t always let on how much they´ve understood.

All in all, cognition and understanding is embodied through the way we experience the world. We see how our children grow every day and experience the world around them. Something that had an impact in their lives might only be visible later on in life. But as Christians, we know that the seed is sown, and it´s there, being fed by other experiences and life situations.

Finally, how does a child perceive the world? You´ll know through their play and behaviours. So how does a child perceive God? How do we know they have a perception of who God is? As mentioned above, we will never know one hundred percent, because it´s not that easy to measure. However, if experience helps understanding and a child has experienced God, then they will understand. How will you know? You won´t for certain, but you will see it through their actions, their play, their conversations, maybe through their eyes. You will know through their love and kindness and through those amazingly surprising moments. Even if you still don´t see it, you know a seed has been sown, and this will most definitely have an impact and influence upon their lives. Then, in years to come, you may see the growth of that little seed and you will then understand the amazing power of experiences. Therefore, better than trying to know if your child has understood or not, received an impact or not, perceived who God is or not… is giving them as many opportunities to experience God in order to better understand Him.

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