by Jose Manuel Castrejon
Bachelor of Accounting, Mexico
..But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15) .
How can the teachings of the Bible influence a child? Personally, I could not say anything conclusive to answer this question. I grew up Catholic. As a child I went to catechesis, and the greatest memory I have is of a picnic with other children and the nuns. I don’t remember any teachings from those classes, perhaps because I was so young. What I do remember are classes with Jehovah’s Witnesses. From them I learned the stories of Samson, David and Goliath, Jonah, and others. But how did those stories influence my decisions as a young person and as
an adult? I feel I never decided anything thinking about David or Samson; but whom I did think about, and still do, are my parents. From them, I received the moral and spiritual principles that many times helped me to decide correctly in the different situations that were presented to me throughout my life. And those principles were in stilled in me more by example than by words.
When I consulted with several friends who grew up at tending our conferences and Sabbath School meetings, all of them pointed out to me that the teachings received in childhood helped them to make positive decisions in their lives as young people and adults. But one of them mentioned something very important: the example of his parents1 He said he saw that his parents’ lives agreed with what they taught him about God and His commandments. He acknowledged that their influence helped him to decide wisely whom to marry and to avoid undesirable situations. The Word of God had an affect on his life, but it was not only the means by which God worked in him. The examples of those who taught him in his childhood and youth were also very important.
Sister Ellen G. White wrote in Testimony Treasures (volume 2, page 406) the following: “In the future life the children will be what their parents have made them.” During childhood, the best way for the Spirit of God to impress ed. Thus his home instructors had co-operated with God minds is through the examples of parents. So we can conclude that the power of the Word of God in children is in the example of parents and other adults. The book Child Guidance (page 39) confirms this: “The lessons of the Bible have a moral and in preparing him to bear burdens.”-The Acts of the Apostles, page 203.2.
So it is not just a matter of teaching Bible stories to children. They must see in us (parents, teachers, other adults) the religious influence on the character, as they are brought into the practical life.“ It goes on to state that “Timothy learned and practiced these lessons.”
What parents and teachers practice will be most remembered by their children and students; and the consistent practice of what is taught will be a blessing to all learners. “As the lessons of the Bible are wrought into the daily life, they have a deep and lasting influence upon the character.”- The Acts of “In the future life the children will be what their parents have made them”.
effect of believing the Word of God and practicing it; because the power of the Scriptures is in what we live rather than only in what we say. Certainly it is the Holy Spirit who impresses the minds of people in all ages, but He uses various methods to do so. For children and young people, the practical lives of true believers are one of His most powerful weapons. That is why the apostle Paul told Timothy to “be … an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in the Apostles, page 205.2.
Speaking of Timothy, “From a child he had known the Scriptures. The piety that he saw in his home life was sound and sensible. The faith of his mother and his grandmother in the sacred oracles was to him a constant reminder of the blessing in doing God’s will. The word of God was the rule by which these two godly women had guided Timothy. The spiritual power of the lessons that he had received from them kept him pure in speech and unsullied by the evil influences with which he was surround-charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12) and similarly urged Titus to be “a pattern of good works” (Titus 2:7).
The Word of God is powerful. Of that we have no doubt. But before teaching others this great truth, we need to experience it ourselves, because a life transformed by the Holy Spirit will make its effects even more powerful.•