Train Up A Child
Occasionally we hear a parent say, "I'm not going to force my children to go to church. I'll wait until they are old enough to decide for themselves about religion." This, of course, is pure folly! We don't wait until they are "old enough to decide for themselves" about things like personal hygiene or going to school. We instruct, encourage and insist that they make right choices in these important matters. Why would we wait until they are "old enough to decide for themselves" about their religious training – the MOST important thing in life?
Thankfully, there are many parents who understand the awesome obligation of "training up a child in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6). These are the ones who take seriously their responsibility to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). We commend all such parents who are working hard to fulfill this incredibly important God-given job.
Still, though, it seems that some folks need to take this concept to an even higher level. There are some good parents - godly people in their own right - who continue to struggle with how and when to teach their children certain moral principles. An excellent example of this is in the area of modesty. It is not uncommon to see parents who wouldn't be caught dead in certain types of clothing (shorts, swimming suits, etc.) but they allow their children to wear them. The idea is (we suppose) that they expect their children will grow up and somehow realize that such clothes are not suitable for those who "profess godliness" (1 Tim. 2:9,10). But, how will they learn this if they are not taught? They need instruction - consistent and specific instruction from an early age - so that they will develop their own sense of modesty and shamefacedness. If we wait until they are "old enough to decide for themselves," it will be too late. By postponing this instruction we will make it very hard - nearly impossible - for them to decide correctly.
Parents, if we hope to raise a “Timothy," we'll have to be like Lois and Eunice (2 Tim. 1 :5) and teach God's moral principles to our children from childhood (3:14,15). We dare not wait or delay this important work.