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.•