Why Baby Talk is Good For Us

I have always thought it a strange thing when parents talk to babies with baby-talk. You know what I mean. You’re out in public, maybe in a grocery store, you turn into the next aisle and there before you stands a grown man and a grown woman talking to a little baby in a shopping cart with language that is not only embarrassing but virtually incomprehensible.

I used to think this was incredibly foolish and completely ridiculous and then something happened that changed my mind. I had a son, and without even thinking twice about it, I found myself talking baby-talk in public and in private. What happened to my firm convictions about the foolish nature of baby-talk? What happened to my steadfast belief that I would not lower myself to such a level of embarrassment in public before other grown people?

Well, that’s just it. It was all about “lowering.” I found that when I used baby-talk with my son Jack, he seemed to know and respond to my baby talk with his own baby-talk. It’s as if he understands that I am lowering myself to his level to speak to him in words and sounds that he can understand. Sure he and I will eventually grow out of this pattern and begin to have intelligent conversation one day full of varied vocabulary where both of us engage our intellectual faculties to the best of our abilities, but that day is not now – so baby-talk it is.

Martin Luther, one of the protestant reformations largest figures, taught me a lesson about this one day. He once said, “The Bible is God’s baby-talk to us.” You see it? It’s all about lowering. God lowering Himself to the creatures He has made, communicating to us in words we can understand, so that we glorify Him by enjoying and knowing Him deeper.

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