At what age should children be taught about God and Jesus?

Piney church of Christ

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A few years ago, I was in New Jersey and talking to a father of two beautiful small girls. I asked him if he was teaching his girls about God. He said NO.  His reason was that their minds were not prepared to be able to comprehend such an abstract notion. I will leave that until they can establish their own idea about God. Then they can develop their own opinion about God. Why does that not work about learning other things?

There is a book in the library at TTU, which says nobody is educated until they have read and studied the Bible. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he WILL NOT depart from that training. II Timothy 2:15,16 says study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness. God has told all men to study and rightly divide the word of truth. (That is the Bible)

Now when is a child to study and rightly divide the word of truth? Does it make sense to start at a young age or after they have formed their own ideas? II Timothy 4:12-17. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall be worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scriptures is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. How many children know the holy Scriptures of the Bible and are wise unto salvation by the faith produced within them by a knowledge of Jesus Christ?

Our nation seems to be at a point where respect for authority is diminishing. Among teenager, this loss of respect is manifested in disobedience to superiors at school, disregard for governmental authority and a sense of our national heritage, and a decline in the degree of honor and obedience shown to parents. As alarming as this is, the loss of reverence for God and his word is more sobering. The high attrition rate of our Christian young people graduating from high school surely tells us that our youth haven’t internalized the faith that comes from hearing the word of God Rom. 10:17. Foremost in our goals for the education of teens ought to be the establishment of a personal knowledge and relationship with God. The natural result of this will be a desire to know his revealed will and the conviction to obey it. While I claim no special authority on this subject, and the following suggestions may not be novel. I believe that they are time-honored answers in insuring that our young people properly respect the Bible. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditates day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalms 1:1-6

Some children seem to have an inclination to seek God and his word, like Joseph, Josiah, David, and Timothy. In nearly all cases the best results happen when modeled by godly parents. In the case of Timothy great faith first rested in his mother and grandmother. Faith and salvation and a home in heaven only comes through a study of the bible and our obedience to the commands of God. No one would deny the powerful impact that Bible-respecting parents wield on their children along with attending regular worship and Bible study at church and the singing of songs and taking the Lord`s supper. Here are some practical suggestions for teaching children about God and salvation.

First, regular family devotions in the home have proved to be effective in bringing children closer to God and family. When children grow up hearing Bible stories and their meaning, there is a good chance that these children will study their Bibles and become Christians. Second, parents’ ought to see that children have their Bible class lessons prepared. This may include helping the children with them and answering questions. If a parent insists that a child make good grades in school and spend a considerable amount of time doing homework, and yet shows no concern about Bible class, what do you suppose the child is learning about the importance of the Bible? Third, have a real good library of religious books and videos. Come and worship with us Piney church of Christ: Sunday worship 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday Bible study at 6:30  p.m.,  Rhinehart Parkway, Spencer Tennessee.      

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