How many judgmental thoughts are going through your mind right now? I don't blame you. The truth is I married a grown man. Child does not refer to a person's chronological age. Rather it refers to their spiritual age.
Many people go through life as spiritual child. They may not be spoon fed, but they still require constant supervision and redirection. Spiritual children are easily manipulated or easily offended. They don't know what is the truth because they are still in the beginning stages of their relationship with God. These children require guidance and redirection. So how you know if you married a child or if you are child?
It is not a bad thing, but it is important to learn to meet people where they are and work with them on their level. It can be frustrating talking to a spiritual child. It can also be very rewarding. If you are stronger in prayer than your spouse, learn to work together and pray together to build each other up. If your spouse is stronger in devotion and meditation, take notes and ask for help in building up your relationship with God.
Let's turn to Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV)
"11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."
This passage basically backs up what I was saying earlier. We often think our spouses, friends, church members, or colleagues are further along in their relationship with God. Truth is, it is not up to us to determine the depth of a person's relationship with God. It is however, our responsibility to encourage others to grow in knowledge and understanding. As in verse 14, we must train ourselves to distinguish good from evil. We must train ourselves to make deepening our relationship with God a priority. The spiritual child is one that needs training. Just like a baby grows from milk to solids, so shall a spiritual child. Training is part action and part motivation. Without the motivation or thirst for knowledge of God, a person will be lost.
When you encounter a spiritual child, do not condemn them. Instead, encourage them to advance and to continue thirsting after a deeper relationship with God and better understanding of God's righteousness. So what do I do with a spiritual child? Give them to God. I've always believed that prayer can open the door to miracles. But prayer is only words, if it does not have faith to back it up and action to fuel it. The spiritual child learns through example and consistency. Over time they will come around. My daughter learned to pray by watching me and listening to me prayer every night by her bed. She also learned to praise God by watching me. In the car, at church, in the kitchen, in the store, or wherever we were. Be the example for the spiritual children in your life. Be the flame to their moth and then give them encouragement for each step of growth that they show.
You didn't become spiritually mature in one night. It takes time. Keep talking, keep praying, keep praising, and keep the faith.