The Law of Moses included the message that parents were to instruct their children in the ways of Jehovah. Speaking of the words that He gave to Israel through Moses, God said, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7). Such teaching was not only for the Israelites’ own children, but for their grandchildren as well: “. . . but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
The New Testament also indicates that parents should teach their kids the ways of the Lord. It is written, “And ye, fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). All of us know that kids can learn things. First, we know this from personal observation. Second, we also are certain that it happens since God tells His people to teach their kids. The fact that God wants it done implies that learning can take place.
Children can learn spiritual truths. Timothy did. By the Spirit, the apostle Paul reminded him, “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 3:15). Yes, children can learn the sounds that animals make, the ABC’s, how to count, and colors. But, dads and moms, they can also learn spiritual truths!
Children can learn from an early age. It is too bad that many Christians around the world do no realize this. It is tragic that some congregations do not have classes for kids until they reach school age. What wonderful opportunities they are missing! We have known little cookie-crunchers that, before they were 1½ years old, could correctly say “Jesus” in response to the question, “Who is God’s Son?” Now folks, they did not learn such by accident, did they? The little fellas can learn from a very early stage in life that “God” made the sun, that “God” gave us the Bible, and that “Jesus Loves Me.”
Children can learn a lot. We have heard three-year old kids name the 66 books of the Bible in order. Some four-year olds can tell you that Jesus has only one church (Ephesians 4:4). Most adults, including famous denominational preachers like Billy Graham, have never learned that truth. We have heard five-year olds quote a Bible verse for each action in the plan of salvation, from hearing (Romans 10:17) to baptism (Mark 16:16). Many adults that have been members of the church for 30 years are unable to do such. There is no denying it: kids can learn a lot!
Children can learn by observation. They can learn from an early age that the observation of the Lord’s Supper is a sober occasion (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). They can learn that when we pray to God, that is not a time to be playing. They can learn that it is only males that lead mixed groups in prayers (1 Timothy 2:8). On the other hand, when they do not see a pattern of good works (Titus 2:7), they can also learn that some saints skip Bible class, some talk during sermons, some never bring their Bibles to services, and some never sing. Brethren, what are the little ones at our congregation observing in you and me?!
Let us challenge children to learn. Let us work diligently and patiently with them. When it comes to the training of children, whether they are toddlers or teens, there is no substitute for two items: (1) repetition and (2) a good example from Christians that shows them the right way. Yes, Children Can Learn: they can learn spiritual truths, they can learn from an early age, they can learn a lot, and they can learn by observation.
— Roger D. Campbell
From Union Grove Church of Christ website