One of our desires for our children is that they will be teachable. Not impressionable – not changing to reflect whoever is around them, or influenced by whatever comes along, but teachable by God. We want them to have hearts that are soft toward the things of the Lord. We want them to have an appropriate respect for authority so that they can learn and become wise. We do not want them to become guys who think they know everything already and thus are actually fools. A teachable attitude, however, is not something that we can have for them! So I have been on the lookout for opportunities to teach and model how to be teachable.

The other day, the boys and I were singing “Jesus Paid it All” during our morning Bible time. We usually sing the same hymn every day until everyone knows the words (at the least the first verse or two). Over the years, we have learned the words to many hymns and gained a lot of new vocabulary (and doctrine!) along the way.

The second verse of “Jesus Paid It All” says, “Lord, now indeed I find, Thy power and Thine alone, can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.”

I asked the boys why they thought the hymn was talking about melting a heart of stone, and they didn’t know. So we looked at Ezekiel 11:19-20 which describes the New Covenant. God said that He would remove the people’s hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh which would be able to walk in His ways.

And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep my ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.

Ezekiel 11:19-20

As we were talking about these things, I had an idea of a way to experience this concept in a hands-on way.

Teaching Kids to be Teachable

We got out some rocks and some play dough. Then we discussed the differences between the two. I asked the boys, “What can we make out of the rocks? Can we shape one into a cat? Can we roll them into snakes?” Of course not! Rocks cannot be molded into another shape. The only way you can make a rock into something like that is with a hammer and a chisel!

Then we looked at the play dough. Can play dough be formed into a cat? Can we roll out a snake? Yes, we can easily do that!

Teaching Kids to Be Teachable

I explained to the boys that before we know Jesus as our Savior, our hearts are hard like rocks. But God can change us and make our hearts soft like play dough! In fact, He loves to do that! He will give us soft hearts so that we become more like Him if we repent from our sins and turn to Him. A teachable heart can be formed into what God wants it to be.

The book of Proverbs is full of verses that demonstrate the importance of a follower of God having a teachable heart.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7

“My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”

Proverbs 3:1

This simple demonstration was a good reminder to myself to put aside my pride and be willing to be molded into whatever God wants me to be! I’m thankful for His grace in making us more like Him!


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  1. Jannapy Aug 4, 2013


  2. Glenda Robertson Aug 4, 2013

    I jumped at the title when I first saw it. . . The teachability of children. . . It is the first and most important step to open our minds to the Truth, the Light, and the Way and yet you rarely hear it discussed . . . Somehow, someway, I need to translate for secular education. . . Thank you for your contribution. . . It is a blessing.

  3. Allison Hendrix Aug 6, 2013

    LOVE this! I too desire a teachable heart in myself and children and love your perspective and chosen scriptures. I used a 'ball of clay' to describe a heart moldable to Christ's likeness to my children, so really your playdo made me smile. Love this and am sharing now.

  4. Allison Hendrix Aug 6, 2013

    Also, I have a parenting group board that isn't huge but has a pretty active following. Let me know if you are interested. Allison

  5. susanlang Aug 6, 2013

    I absolutely love your Teaching Kids to be Teachable article. For many years in the past I taught V.B.S.,Sunday School and Christian Preschool. I have always been a very hands-on, visual aid teacher. This idea gets an A++ GREAT JOB!!!!! Can't wait to use this.

  6. Nohely Oct 12, 2013

    I love it ! This is a Great Job , can't waIT TO USE THIS ON MY LITTLE ONES

  7. Heather aka HoJo Jan 11, 2014

    Love this! What a perfect way to teach this in a Christian home or school! And I know many teachers who could vary this to teach it in a public school setting. Thank you so much!! =)

  8. Jenni N Aug 3, 2014

    Thanks for this post. We are starting school tomorrow and have been struggling with this very issue. So, we are starting our day off with this activity and I've chosen Proverbs 1:7 as our verse of focus for this year. Thanks so much!!!!

  9. tracy Aug 17, 2014

    Love love this!!! simple and genius

  10. J.W. Mar 23, 2016

    Great concept, thank you! I was just looking for a tangible way to teach this to my children.


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