Never Underestimate a 3-Year-Old!

In my Parenting Bible Study class which meets on Wednesdays, I was asked by one of the Moms, “How old were your children when they started spending “Special Time with Mom?”

I knew our children were at least four, but I could not remember if I did “Special Time with Mom” when they were age three.

I had the wonderful privilege of leading our eldest daughter, Kristen to the Lord at age three.  At the time, I was not convinced Kristen was really saved, because

Kristen, standing in her Daddy's shoes
Kristen, standing in her Daddy’s shoes

she was so young.  A year later, I knew for certain Kristen was a believer, because of her deep concern for others to get saved. I saw the fruit of her salvation.  Kristen, who is now a Pastor’s wife with five children, says that she remembers trusting Jesus as her Savior at age three. I had underestimated my 3-year-old. It also occurred to me that if a child could get saved at age three, then that is a good age in which to begin having “Special Time With Mom.”

In the Bible, a three-year-old child fell on his face and worshiped the Lord at the temple.  Any guesses who this child might be?

“And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.

And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he (Samuel) worshipped the LORD there.”  1Samuel 1:24-28

handsIt was the custom in Bible times for mothers to nurse their babies until they were three.  When Hannah and Samuel arrived at the temple, the little child, Samuel, worshiped the Lord there.

“Worshipped” in the Hebrew is “shachah” and is defined as “to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to fall before in homage (respect) to God.”

Imagine that! Can you picture little bright eyed, chubby-cheeked Samuel in the temple showing honor to God by bowing down and worshiping Him? A three-year-old child fell prostrate before the Lord and worshiped Him! How precious is that!

How can this happen?  We understand “how” by studying Hannah, his mother. Samuel learned faith from his mother. While Samuel was worshiping the Lord in the temple, his mother, Hannah, broke out in a song of praise to the Lord.

We must also remember that Hannah was doing something very difficult at the time she broke out in praise. This mother was called of God to surrender her child to minister full time in the temple of God. Can you imagine dropping your three-year-old child off to live permanently somewhere else? The deepest level of worship is when a person praises God in the midst of pain and sorrow.

“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2: 1,2.

Why would a little child worship the Lord? Do you think Hannah may have mother baby~whispered these words of praise in her son’s ear while she rocked and nursed him? Do you think Samuel worshiped God at age three, because his mother, whose life exemplifies faithfulness, taught her son to be faithful to God? Spending one-on-one time with her son, Hannah taught him to love the Lord.

Hannah did not underestimate her three-year-old child. Have we underestimated our three-year-old child?

I was not positive my child had trusted Jesus to save her at age three, but I did ponder it in my heart and wondered. Then, I saw the fruit of Kristen’s salvation a year later, and I knew for certain my daughter had trusted Jesus as her Savior.

I believe Hannah started training up her child in the way he should go as soon as he was born. Hannah was known in the Bible for praying aloud. I am sure her baby recognized his mother’s voice from hearing her pray while he was within the womb.

If I were asked today, “At what age was your child, when he started having Special Time With Mom,” I would answer differently. I would say, “I cannot remember what age I began “Special Time with Mom,” but I now believe a 3-year-old will benefit more than we can ever imagine.”

We must never underestimate our three-year-old child. We must never underestimate the incredible influence a faithful, praying mother has over her little child, even while nursing him and even while he is in the womb.

“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”  Luke 18:17


Great encouragement for me. My Samuel also asked Jesus to be his Savior at age 3 and a half… Praying that The Lord will continue to train him up. To become a mighty man of God. Will not underestimate my now 11 year old.

Linda Hoover

Sarah, How special that you have a child named Samuel and that he trusted Jesus as his Savior at age 3! I will pray with you that your Samuel will grow up to become a mighty man of God. You also encouraged me by taking the time to share.:)

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