Children respond to what they are exposed to

Published 11:00 pm Friday, May 24, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: My children have been invited by my neighbors to go to Sunday school. My biggest concern is that my children, 11 and 13 years old, are too young to understand the Bible, and I fear they may be taught something that I won’t even understand. Am I being too protective? – W.M.

Dear W.M.: Parents have allowed electronic babysitters to infiltrate their homes and their children’s minds. Young people are influenced by high-tech gadgets. Violent crimes are committed by children. A doctor said, “We have kids 13 years old that are as hardened as anyone in a penitentiary. Look into their eyes and you’ll see cold blank stares, void of most moral values.”

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Loving parents are wise to expose their children to the Scriptures. The Bible says, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may … teach them to their children” (Deuteronomy 4:10, NIV). In Old Testament times, Scripture was read publically. On one occasion, Ezra the scribe mounted a high platform that had been built for the occasion and read God’s Word to the men, women, and children (see Nehemiah 8:1).

Children respond to what they are exposed to. Children want to be guided; it gives them a sense of belonging and a sense of security.

The story is told of a little boy sitting in silence for a long time with a book on his lap. His mother asked him what he was thinking about. With his head hovering over the pages of the Bible, he answered, “Oh, I’m watching Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead!”

How we need to encourage our children to spend time in God’s Word. The Bible tells us to “diligently” teach Scripture to our children, to sit and talk with them about it, and then live it in the home (see Deuteronomy 6:6-9, ESV). This is so important. The Word of God gives instruction to people of all ages.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)