DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Our two children are too young to attend church with us, but at what age should we begin taking them? They stay in our church’s nursery right now, but we want them to learn about God once they’re older. — B.C.
DEAR B.C.: Not all churches are able to have nurseries, I realize, but I’m thankful yours does. I hope it includes a program of simple Bible stories, prayers and songs designed for young children. This will help prepare them for church later on.
In any case, I encourage parents to bring their children to church whenever possible, even as babies or toddlers. No, they won’t understand everything that happens. In fact, they may understand very little. But over time they’ll understand one thing: Church is very important to you. And some day they’ll realize that the reason church is important to you is because God is important to you, and should be important to them, too.
The Bible says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
At the same time, don’t leave Christ at the church door. Instead, make him part of your daily life as a family by praying together, reading the Bible and talking about ways God has blessed you. The Bible says, “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
Most of all, ask God to make your life a witness to his love and purity. What will your children remember about you in later years? Will it be your love for Christ and the integrity of your life? May this be so, beginning today.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.
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