Some parents wait until they are sure their children can speak and understand language before they begin to teach them. What does the Lord say about ‘when’ we should begin teaching our children? “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies” (Psalms 58:3).
When did Hannah begin teaching Samuel? He was fully taught to love and serve the Lord by the time he was weaned.
And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the Lord establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh: and the child was young (1 Samuel 1:23-24).
Are children born knowing right from wrong? A child is innocent and without sin until he understands right from wrong, but they can sometimes be foolish. “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle” (Jonah 4:11).
We can imagine that our children are righteous from the womb, but the Lord declares that: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). When should we begin to deal with our children’s foolishness? We have a chance to train them as soon as we see their deeds.
God not only hears the little ones, but has angels behold the face of the Father on their behalf. “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).
We know that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit when he understood that the mother of his Lord was present in the room, but when did John begin to understand what was happening? “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:44). Of course we know this was the Holy Spirit that gave this understanding to John in the womb, but we can see from this that he was a real little person, not some blob of flesh that feels or knows nothing as the abortionists say.
If a babe can rejoice in the womb, can he understand? It is not possible to begin training our children too soon—even reading to them or singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs while they are yet unborn. Frequent church attendance would seem to help with this task as well.