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How Young Is Too Young To Teach Your Children Doctrine?

Bible Study / Family / Parenting / Spiritual Formation //

II Timothy 3:15  “And that from a child though hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation…”

 

After a heavy rainstorm filled all the potholes in the streets & alleys, a young mother watched her 2 little boys playing in the puddles through her kitchen window. The older of the two, a five year old, grabbed his brother by the back of his head and shoved his face into one of the waterholes. As the boy recovered and stood, laughing and dripping, the mother ran towards them in a panic.

“Why on earth did you do that to your little brother?” she said, as she took the older boy by the shoulder.

“We were just playing church mommy,” he said. “And I was baptizing him… You know, ‘In the name of the Father, the Son, and in the hole he goes.’”

When trying to teach young children biblical truths, sometimes they don’t always get it the same way we think that we’ve taught it.

One night in our family devotions, we were teaching our children about the doctrine of the Trinity.  We explained how that God is three persons, but one God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The next night as we began to review, I asked for one of the kids to name who the three persons of God are.  Our four year old son excitedly raised his hand and blurted out, “God the Dad, God the Kid, and God the Holy Guy!”

We had a hard time not laughing, but were thankful that even at his young age, he was beginning to grasp Bible doctrine in a way that even he could understand.

Question:  Is a child ever too young to begin learning Bible doctrine?  I think we’d do well to let the Bible answer that question…

Deuteronomy 6:6  “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…”

Proverbs 22:6  “Train up a child in the way he should go…”

Mark 10:14  “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not…”

Ephesians 6:4  “Bring them (your children) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

II Timothy 3:15  “And that from a child though hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation…”

God never makes an age distinction when he tells parents to start teaching and training their children, but rather implies that once you have them, regardless of how young or old they may be, it is your responsibility to nurture them spiritually both in doctrine and practical, biblical living.

I firmly believe that the younger we begin teaching the children, the greater potential we have of reaching them for the rest of their life.  This includes teaching them some of the great doctrines of the faith.

You and I both know that the world is actively trying to pursue our kids with their philosophies, brands, and messages from the time they are toddlers.  Because they have tapped into this timeless principle, that “the early bird gets the worm.”  They know that if they can influence a child’s thinking and decision making from the start, they can potentially influence them for life with brand loyalty and a lifetime of profits.

If the world around us understands and practices this principle, we as parents and those who work with children can’t afford to miss it!  We must invest much into the little ones.

William Ross Wallace – “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the word.”

You can never get too early of a start on influencing your children biblically.  We’ve all heard of the positive effects of mothers who read to their children in the womb, and we’ve also heard of the negative affects of parents who fight and argue during that same timeframe when mom is pregnant.  The point being made is simple – children begin developing in more ways than we know earlier than we think.

This would include what our children grow up to believe concerning doctrine.  Doctrine is important, and first impressions at a young age can cement biblical truth in their hearts for life.  Set some goals for your family or ministry of what doctrines you’d like your children to know by a certain age.  For example:

By the time my child is 4, I want them to know that…

  • God made all things
  • Jesus is God’s Son
  • The Bible is God’s Word
  • Jesus is the only way to be saved from sin, etc.

Below is a free resource that you can use as a reference for your family or ministry of important truths and doctrines that preschoolers can understand and learn.  You can click here to open and save this resource.

Preschool Doctrine

Doctrine matters… at any age.  Start young.  Because how true the statement is… “The early bird gets the worm.”  No one gets an earlier chance to influence and captivate the hearts of kids than their parents.  Mom and Dad, don’t waste that precious opportunity.  Start teaching and training your children biblically, no matter how young they are.

What are some practical ways that you could start this week making spiritual, and even doctrinal investments into the lives of your young ones?

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About the Author

"Andrew has invested his life into full-time Kids Ministry for over 14 years. He is passionate about ministering to kids and their families, as well as equipping other parents and ministry leaders to do the same. He is also the founder of KidzBlast Ministries, which provides effective and proven resources for VBS, Children’s Church and the Bus Ministry at KidzBlast.com."