Q. When should one start teaching a child about the Lord, and bringing him to church?
A. Current trends favour teaching children life skills but leaving all spiritual guidance to the child’s choice. But this flies in the face of Prov 22:6 which directs us to ‘train up a child’; not to leave things to his discretion! Many parents follow the latest guidelines mooted by psychologists and educationists. We believe that this philosophy is seriously flawed and godly parents need to adhere to what God teaches concerning children in His Word.
We’re not against psychologists and educationists, unless they are at variance with the Word of God. Thank God for those who work according to the Bible – which is as applicable to today’s children as it was when Jesus called the little ones to Himself.
Sadly, the general state of children worldwide does not say much for modern philosophies. And the way that children increasingly are abused and molested is an indictment against the philosophies that raised those who hurt them so fearfully.
We will ever listen to wisdom as long as it is tested by the Word. Better still, we advocate that parents should steep themselves in the Bible and find God’s ways of raising children. After all they are His gift to them – not to possess, but to raise on His behalf. They must discover His will for each of them, for it is to Him that they must account.
It follows that God knows how His Creation, children especially, should be nurtured and trained. The Bible suggests that the earlier a child is taught the ways of God, the easier he will maintain them and the more successfully he will administer them in later life.
Isa 28:9-11: Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. (God wants to use children for His glory!)
The prophet says that a child’s training begins as soon as he is weaned. That’s pretty early! Teach your children about the Lord and His ways as soon as they can understand, but talk about Him well before then. But, most important of all, introduce them to Jesus as soon as you can. Show them how to love Him and His ways.
In long-ago days parents used to bring their children to every meeting. While the floors of Assembly halls were littered with children asleep in sleeping bags and blankets, many grew old enough to hear the Word – and become significant spiritual blessings in those Assemblies. A return to that lifestyle would not be a bad thing at all!