Teach Biblical principles at an early age

Published 11:00 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: When I was growing up my parents crammed the Bible down my throat. I could not go outside to play until I memorized a Bible verse. To be honest, it drove me away from the things of God as I got older and I rebelled. As a parent of young children today, I have a different perspective on what my parents were trying to do, but is there a better way to make children respect Scripture? — C.P.

Dear C.P.: The greatest thing parents can do is teach their children, by example, a love for God’s Word. Wisdom from the Bible will help guide children in making good decisions. For the rebellious child who wanders away from God, teaching Biblical principles at an early age can greatly enhance the possibility that God will use these truths to bring a wayward child back to the fold.
The Bible says, “Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Parents should not be unreasonable, nor should they ever say things they do not mean. Children want their parents to care enough about them to be consistent, and yes, even strict, and most certainly truthful.
We are to train our children “precept upon precept, line upon line… here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:10). Parents always have the opportunity to be a good example to their children, no matter the age.
Children acquire the characteristics and habits of their parents. We should be honest enough to ask if we’re being wise and consistent in what we teach and how we live. Children will learn far more by watching than by just listening. When they see their parents drawing wisdom from the Bible, and being obedient to the message of the Bible, it has the potential of making them curious to also know where true joy comes from.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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