Get 'Em While They're Young
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. PSALM 119:9
For many years George Barna has been a leading researcher on Church and cultural trends in America. When he appeared on our radio broadcast, I posed a question I'd always wanted to ask him: "What was the most stunning set of data you ever received?"
This is a man who isn't stunned by much. Even though he's become well known for exposing very troubling patterns in our society, his findings rarely surprise him.
This one did. He took a national sample of 13-year-olds and compared them with a sampling of adults comprising every age segment. On 12 core spiritual perspectives, he discovered no difference between any of the groups. In other words, the things a person believes by age 13 are pretty much what he or she will die believing.
This tells me something: We don't need to wait until our children are teenagers before we expect them to be able to understand major biblical truths. Things like being saved by grace through faith, not by good deeds. Things like how our hearts are naturally inclined to sin and that as a result, they need forgiveness.
As Charles Spurgeon said, "A child who knowingly sins can savingly believe."
Dwight Moody was speaking to a group of children in Scotland when he rhetorically asked them, "What is sin?" One of the children replied, "Sin is transgression of the law of God"—straight out of the catechism. Amazed, Moody responded, "Children, you must thank God that you have grown up in Scotland"—where they were systematically taught the Bible from an early age.
I pray that our children will thank God they have grown up in our homes, where they are learning the Scriptures and learning how to live.
See if you can list 8 to 10 vital Christian truths or concepts that you need to begin to teach (or continue teaching) to your kids.
Pray that God would cement your own beliefs and convictions more clearly in your mind and show you how to communicate them in real-life ways to your family and others.