Book: Proverbs 19
“Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.”
Children are a gift to their parents from God (Psalm 12:7) and He has given them the responsibility to raise them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). This proverb brings out the importance of parents actively teaching and training them at an early age instead of waiting until they are older.
Did you know that unborn children as early as 17 weeks can start to hear sounds from outside their mother and by 26 weeks their heart beat can change when they hear music? Even before a child is born they are listening and learning. I remember minutes after our first son was born, he responded to my voice. There was the doctor’s and nurse’s voice which he didn’t respond to but when I spoke he responded as if he knew my voice and it was comforting to him.
In the first few years of a child’s life they are like a sponge sucking up so much information and learning what life is about. This is a key time to speak into their lives and train them. This is a great time to tell Bible stories, speak Bible verses over them and have them enjoy christian music. Remember, their little learning sponge is going to absorb anything that you give them. Eventually that sponge will be pretty full so it is crucial that good stuff (wisdom) is given to them during these years. This is setting them up for when they go to school, become a teenager and eventually become an adult.
Years ago I attended a church in which one elder consistently helped out in the nursery and the toddler’s class because he believed that these were crucial years for these kids. He told them Bible stories at their age level and made “church” an exciting, fun, and desirable place to be. Some of those little ones didn’t even want to leave their class when their parents came to pick them up.
If you are a parent of a baby, toddler or even expecting a child, remember that your little one is taking in and learning so much. Training them well takes work but is well worth it down the road. How and what you teach them now will set them up for their future. Discipline for success!