Nearly every night since my two-year-old son was born, I’ve sung the same song:
“Lord, you are more precious than silver.
Lord, you are more costly than gold.
Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds,
And nothing I desire compares with you.”
(Artist: Lynn DeShazo – Copyright 1982 by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)
One night, I asked him whether he wanted to sing another song. He quickly replied with a signature two-year-old “NO, MAMA!” I should’ve seen that coming.
4 Minute Read
By Kelly LaPiana
Toddlers love repetition, and my son loves that song! Lately, the more times I hear the excited shout of “Again, please!” the more I’ve found myself wondering, what is it that makes repeating the same song, book, or activity so engaging for him?
After some research, I learned that repeating the same activities promotes a feeling of comfort and security for young kids. Not only that, but repetition strengthens connections in the brain which help them learn new words, skills, and behaviors. Waiting to say the special word at the end of the sentence, looking forward to Dad bouncing him into the air at the end of the song, or indulging in the familiar taste of Mom’s cookies is not only thrilling and comforting, but it also cultivates growth.
Strength in Repetition
Toddlers are experiencing the world in new ways every day, and, oftentimes, they are not in control of the situation or even of themselves. Can you imagine how scary and overwhelming that must be? Nonetheless, simply repeating the words of a beloved song can calm their little hearts.
During the past few years I have even felt like a toddler sometimes. Experiencing the unstable, overwhelming, and exhausting state of our world has left me feeling scared and helpless. It’s been difficult to hold fast to Jesus and easy to become lazy and drift away from Him. Even so, God has answered my cries for direction and given me hope.
Over and over, God has taught me that there is strength in repetition. In the midst of reading Dr. Seuss’ The Ear Book for the 528th time, God whispered, “Come to me like a child.”
Every day, every hour, we need to keep repeating His truths and promises to ourselves. We must keep repeating God’s Word in our hearts. Keep singing those songs of praise and adoration. Through the highs and lows, the rainbows and the storms, we must anchor ourselves to the Rock.
God Grows Our Faith as We Come to Him like Children
Like my son listening to his favorite bedtime song, we can find immense comfort and security in our repeated spiritual routines. Each time we say that prayer while walking down the hall, each morning we open our Bibles, each time we whisper that memory verse to get us through a tough moment, we are coming to God like children. Instead of learning new words, we are learning something even more powerful–to build our trust in Him!
Our Good Father who holds the future also desires to hold our hands. He will fill us with hope and assurance that He is with us, so that we can find rest in Him. And when we wait for Him, He will not disappoint! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Furthermore, He always fulfills his promises. It is because of this that even in times of uncertainty and suffering, we can confidently say,
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
Psalm 62:5-6 (NIV)
Build a Firm Foundation Daily
I hope my son remembers the words of the songs long after he feels too old to continue singing them at bedtime. I hope someday he understands that putting his trust in Jesus is the best choice he could ever make because nothing in this world compares with Him. So, every night I’ll keep repeating those words to him and pray that God grows in him a strong faith.
Is God prompting you to nourish a stronger faith in Him? Are there new spiritual routines He’s placing on your heart? Or are there past spiritual routines you feel led to revive in order to build a firm foundation on our Rock and Salvation?
Each moment you spend with God is a building block of trust. Be open to how He wants to build in you today.
Source: Shah, S. (n.d.). Why does my toddler love repetition? Baby Centre UK. Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x556931/why-does-my-toddler-love-repetition.
Kelly LaPiana moved to Taiwan with her husband in 2017 as an OMF missionary and 2nd grade teacher at Morrison Academy Kaohsiung. She is from North Carolina, where she graduated from college and taught for two years as a 1st grade public school teacher. She now has a beautiful 2-year-old son, another baby boy on the way, and is planning to live with her family in Taiwan long-term. Her favorite food is fried curry dumplings, and her favorite place in Taiwan is the pebble beach of Hualien.