Bearing babies and raising children is the greatest experience in this natural life. Children are eternal gifts — not just for a time, but for eternity.

Babies are so close to God — straight from Heaven. Although it’s very mysterious how the Lord plans and orders His creation, we know that He does not make any mistakes. God is the Creator of souls. He’s the one who creates that spark of life, the union of spirit and body to form a human soul.

Of course children are not only a gift of God, but also the work of God. If God has given you children, then your first duty to God is to raise those children right. Your children are God’s work for you. They’re His children too, of course, but He wants you to take care of and train them.

That’s a full-time job, but with that big job come big rewards and lots of benefits. You should be very proud to be a parent, because yours is the greatest work in the world — molding the future. The world of tomorrow is what the parents of today make it, according to the way they raise their children.

What an important job a parent has! It probably doesn’t seem very important, just taking care of a baby and changing diapers, but who knows what that baby will grow up to do someday?

Never minimize the training of your children. Did you ever realize that the most important things children are going to learn in their lifetimes, they learn before they’re five years old? So just think how important it is that you teach and train them right during those first formative years. That’s why the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

You can’t wait till your child is five years old before you begin teaching him or her. Every single day counts, and what that child learns each day is important. You as a parent are responsible to see to it that your child is not only fed, clothed, protected, and kept healthy, but also that your child is taught God’s Word, trained in His truth, and inspired with His love.

If God has given you children, then your first duty to God is to raise those children right. Your children are God’s work for you.

Some parents have the wrong attitude that if their kids learn, they learn, and if they don’t, they don’t. While children shouldn’t be forced to learn something they don’t want to learn, the truth of the matter is that all children want to learn. They’re happier and feel more fulfilled when they are learning, and they can learn a lot more with a parent’s guidance and encouragement than if they are just left to learn on their own. In fact, it is entirely unscriptural to leave children to make up their own minds without first trying to inform them and guide them in their decisions. “A child left to himself brings his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15).

My mother and father placed great importance on teaching me about the Bible, the Lord, spiritual values, and biblical truths. Bible stories and the Bible itself were a tremendous influence in my life. I loved them and believed them because I knew they were the voice of God and the Book of God. As a result, my knowledge of God’s Word and its truths were what guided my decisions and kept me through many difficult situations as I grew older.

I traveled a lot when my own children were small, helping to put a Gospel program on over eleven hundred radio and three hundred television stations over a thirteen-year period. But when I was home, I followed my parents’ example and spent as much time as possible with my children. I also took them with me on my trips when I could, and constantly taught them myself when we were together. I’d tell them a Bible story at bedtime nearly every night, usually in simple language they could understand. I would even act out parts to help them get the point, and they really enjoyed that. Children’s minds are just like sponges, or tape recorders, or computers; they absorb, record, and process everything that goes on around them.

It’s simple to teach your young children about Jesus. Just do it from your heart! Point them to the Lord by your example and your love, and by talking to them about Jesus.

As soon as they’re old enough to understand what a mother or a father is — someone who loves them and takes care of them, who helped create them and gave birth to them — they’re old enough to receive Jesus as their Savior. Just explain that there is a great unseen Father who is everywhere and loves us all very much, but because we’ve all been bad and deserve to be punished, He sent Jesus to take our punishment for us. Then have them repeat a simple prayer like the following:

Dear Jesus, please forgive me for being bad. Please come into my heart and help me to be good.

That’s all they have to do! Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). He’s just waiting to become their Best Friend and Savior!

May God help us to be good stewards of the most precious gifts He’s given us — our children!

Children Are Forever, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International