Monday, April 27, 2015

On Reading the Bible to Babies

Some fathers are reading the Bible to infants, babies that cannot talk yet, but they can hear! The practice has been dismissed as pure fantasy on the part of these men. But there is a lot of support for the idea.

First of all, I believe that babies are underrated as to their perceptions. It has been proven that they can tell if the person feeding them likes the food they are feeding them. It is as if the baby thinks, "If you don't like it, why are you giving it to me?"

There is a lot of emphasis on the visual for the young--mobiles and hanging toys, little rotating night lights--that sort of thing. I realize that such things help a child strengthen muscles as they reach for them.

But what about sound? Even animals use sound with their little ones.

Now I'm going to say something that may cause some anger. I don't want to. But male voices are more pleasing to children, and to others as well. Lower pitch is easier to listen to, even in the case of radio announcers.

Ladies could learn from old movies. Femme fatales had deeper voices. Even in parodies, a woman draws attention with a low voice. And it seems to be a recent thing, but women seem to be a little chirpy when they speak, with a rising inflection at the end of sentences, that can be tiring.

I'm really in trouble now. Mothers, nothing can ever replace what you say, but babies do respond to the lower voice of a man. But this is superficial chatter compared to the sheer love of a father who reads to a tiny one. I swear you can see it in a baby's eyes, when you speak to them instead of shaking a rattle in front of their faces.

Mother says, "Bill, will you watch the baby while I fix supper?" And Bill, instead of propping up the little one and turning on the TV set, opens the Bible and reads. Best of all, the King James, written when language was at its most perfect. Let the tiny ears hear the beautiful cadence of the old words from his father's lips.

Is this naive or idealistic? I feel that the sounds will become a part of the child's memory, along with the love of the one who reads.

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