Q: How old should children be before we tell them about God? I don’t see any point in doing it too soon, since they won’t understand anything when they’re very young. — D.P.
A: Let me ask you a question: How old do you think a child needs to be before you let them know you love them? You know the answer: You’ll do it the first moment you hold your newborn child in your arms. Later on they’ll be able to put it into words, but right from the beginning you’re teaching them the meaning of love.
And in a similar way, it’s never too early to begin teaching our children about God’s love for them. At first we may do it only by our actions — loving them, praying in their presence, perhaps taking them to church. Will they see Christ in you — in your love, your patience, your character, your peace in the midst of life’s storms? Remember: Our example often speaks far louder than our words.
But in time they’ll also begin to understand our words, as we tell them about Jesus, teach them to pray and read to them from God’s Word. (Your local Christian bookstore can suggest some Bible story books that are written for young children.) Paul said of his young friend Timothy, “From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
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Someday your children will be grown and will leave to form their own families. What will they remember about you? Will they remember only the good times (as well as the hard times)? Or will they also remember your love for Christ? Ask God to make you the parents he wants you to be — beginning today.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.