How Soon Should We Start?

(Our guest blogger this week is the author of the Zoey books, David Roper.)

A major concern for many of us is the appalling loss of our young people. As they are bombarded by a world of unbelief, many lose their faith. What should we do? And when should we do it?

Many acknowledge that we need to prepare our young people for the skepticism that saturates society in movies, in books, in songs, on television, on social media, in classrooms, everywhere. Most agree that we need a two-prong approach to bolstering our children’s faith: in our homes and in our Bible classes. But when should we start?

Some churches and individuals wait until their children are teenagers before they get concerned. But I suggest that we need to start earlier than that, much earlier.

According to the Barna Research Group, most of a child’s moral and spiritual foundation is in place by age nine. This does not mean teaching should stop at that age. It does mean that if we wait until our children are nine or older to start teaching them, we have missed their most formative years.

The philosophy behind the Zoey preschool picture books is that we need to start as soon as a child is born. The Zoey books are the first series of apologetic volumes specifically written for preschoolers—for parents and others to read to their young children.

Many good things happen as you read to a child. Their imagination is stirred. Their curiosity is stimulated. They learn to love books and reading. They develop language skills. And (surely most important) the bond is strengthened between child and reader.

All this is true long before your child can understand the words. As you cradle your little ones in your lap and read to them, only the Lord knows how much you bless their lives.

Then, as the child continues to grow, the Zoey books will plant seeds of faith in your child’s heart and will stimulate questions that enable you to nurture that faith. (A section in the back of each book has suggestions for parents and others.)

This is not to say that the Zoey books are a cure-all for the challenge to faith in today’s world. Paul said that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Our children need constant exposure to the Bible—in our homes and in our Bible classes. Also, the influence of Christian parents cannot be overemphasized. Parents need to demonstrate their faith in God and Christ regardless of what life brings.

What contribution then do the Zoey books make? They are a TOOL to be used by conscientious parents and others to aid them in this greatest of challenges. They are sent forth with the prayer that they will help you develop faith in yourchildren.

 

Author:

I am a mother, grandmother, nanny, and writer—with a passionate concern about children, all children. With the help of my son Travis (who has a graduate degree in apologetics) I hope to share some thoughts that will be helpful to all who have the same concern.

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