It’s Never Too Early!

by Ken Ham on August 18, 2009
Featured in Answers Update

Each of our children grew up with creationist resources, and such a foundation can keep children in church when they grow up.

Training Your Children

It’s never too early to train your children in the way they should go, and Answers in Genesis can help. Take a moment to review some of our resources.

After our first child Nathan was born, my wife and I would pray with our baby son—even singing some of our favorite hymns to him. After a few weeks, as our son became more aware of his surroundings and began responding to light, colors, and other things, we began showing him pictures in books.

Each of our five children grew up with creationist resources, such as Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards—the first major children’s book on dinosaurs written by a creationist (Dr. Duane Gish). Now, just because children can’t read a book at a young age doesn’t mean you can’t use it to begin teaching them—particularly if the books have large, colorful illustrations.

We would summarize to them what was written in the book, also pointing to the pictures that accompanied the text. As they gained more understanding, we would read the actual words of the books to them. Eventually, of course, they would be able to read the books themselves. In addition, the Bible was always a major resource we used with them (daily.)

Our children grew up enjoying apologetics books that we used to intentionally prepare them to handle the attacks on Christianity and the Bible that they would experience as they grew older.

Although reading such books is not a guarantee of salvation, we do praise the Lord for our children who today still love the Lord and are saved in the Ark of salvation—the Lord Jesus Christ.

Accordingly, it shocked and then greatly burdened me when I read an alarming statistic from pollster George Barna that approximately two-thirds of young people in our churches will walk away from the church. We commissioned Britt Beemer’s America’s Research Group to conduct a national survey to find out why this horrible exodus was happening.

A new book by Britt and me came out of the survey. It’s titled Already Gone. The findings are both very revealing and at times quite shocking. The reasons behind the departure of our young people from the church are a real wake-up call for all of us.

One of the most revealing discoveries was that, contrary to what most of us may have believed, we are not losing most of these young people during college. Actually, it’s around 40% by the end of middle school and over 40% more by the end of high school; in other words, before college, over 80% were “already gone” from the church in their hearts and minds.

What was the “big picture” reason for their departure (or impending departure)? It came down to their belief concerning the Scriptures. The research showed that, for the most part, these young adults now in their 20s were not taught the Bible as a true book of history, and they were not taught how to defend the Scriptures against the faith-shattering attacks of this age (e.g., evolution/ millions of years, etc.).

It’s important to note that 90% of children and teens from church homes go to public schools, where biblical Christianity has by and large been eliminated or undermined. Much of public school curricula (especially in science classes) are contrary to the Bible’s clear teachings.

What an awesome and serious responsibility God requires of us as parents to train our children. The family is the educational unit that God created to transmit the knowledge of godly, biblical teachings to the next generation.

This month, as school begins around America, we are especially featuring many resources that parents can use in teaching God’s Word to their children, building a Christian worldview, and instructing them to defend their faith in an anti-Christian world.

I pray you will consider an investment in such resources as an investment in eternity: your children’s/ grandchildren’s eternity.

I trust each one of us might be able to say of our children, as the apostle Paul did of Timothy: “And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

It’s never too early to begin training your children. If you don’t do it, someone else will!


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