In spite of my familiarity with the Bible, I find myself sometimes avoiding Bible words with my young children. I think it’s because I’m trying to be understandable, but I don’t do that with any other vocabulary.
When I use big words, I simply explain them within the sentence. I might say, “I’m having difficulty with this problem. It’s hard.” Consequently, our children have good vocabularies for their age, frequently eliciting giggles from other adults. For some reason, I don’t do that as well with Bible words. I might say, “That’s not nice” instead of “That’s unkind.” I say, “Shhh. Mommy’s listening to the pastor” not “Shhh. Mommy’s trying to worship God.” I’ve been thinking about helping my children show mercy, but I keep translating it into modern English. It’s not that one way is bad and one way is good. It’s just that there are advantages to using Bible words. The advantages of not translating are two fold: one, when my children start reading, the Bible language will be familiar. I can help that by using Bible language (I’m not merely talking translation here) in our everyday conversation. Second, I’m helping them to see the world in God’s terms, not mine. Many of God’s terms mean completely different things in the world. By using the more precise biblical term, I’m helping them to understand the biblical concept better. I think. I’m not completely consistent with this. We talk about love, not the old Bible word charity.
Word’s I’m using at the moment (these will change as I emphasize different truths):
- simple/ wise
What Bible words are you teaching to your children?