It’s never too early.
My family recently got a puppy. We dutifully enrolled him into puppy class. During the first class, the trainer gave each owner a sheet with different activities to do with our puppies. Go to Bass Pro Shops, walk near a busy highway, meet other dogs at the dog park, and the list went on.
Each week we would work on the basics, sit, stay, and so on. However, the trainer was more concerned with what new things we had exposed our dogs to rather than if we had worked on those basic commands. The weekly prize was given to the owner/puppy who did the most different activities, with no prize for the best sit or stay. As the end of the class drew near, she finally came out and explained why. At the puppy stage, she said, the most important learning is what they are exposed to. Dogs can learn to sit and stay at any age, but trying to get a dog comfortable with something new at an older age is far more difficult. Some trainers don’t even teach sit and stay to puppies, spending all their time exposing young dogs to new things to be ready to experience the diverse world they will live in.
I think there’s an important lesson for those of us who are parents. It’s important for us to expose our kids to the knowledge of God early on in their lives. Deuteronomy 11:19 says “Teach them (the words of God) to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
A daunting truth is that your kids — even at a young age — learn a lot from you when you are at home, when you are on the road, when you are going to bed, and when you are getting up. They learn from the words you say, the actions you take, and the emotions you display. What are they learning from you?
It’s easy to underestimate our children’s capacity to understand spiritual things. Expose them at a young age to the words of God, how God is moving in your life and theirs, and how important you see that God is. Your church can be a great resource to complement your teaching about God.