HOW old must a person be before he is able to make proper decisions in connection with what is right? Would you think eleven years old to be too young?
At a large assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses in Stuttgart, Germany, a Witness minister related an experience he had beginning in December 1966. One day an eleven-year-old boy from the neighborhood knocked on his door and stood there with a copy of the Bible study aid From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained under his arm. When the minister inquired what the lad desired, the boy asked to have a Bible study using the book. His older sister had studied in it previously and now he had the book in his possession and decided that he wanted to learn the truth of the Bible.
And that he did. Over the next three years he regularly studied with the Witness minister. Then, before he reached the age of fourteen, he made another decision. In Germany a child can legally leave the church at the age of fourteen even without the consent of his parents. The lad decided that this is what he ought to do, for he could see that the religion of his family was not based on Bible truth.
The boy’s father and grandmother were surprised at his decision and were displeased. They owned a flower shop, and a good part of their business involved making floral decorations for religious holidays. Despite their various warnings and pressures, he remained firm in his decision to exercise the legal right he had to leave the church.
At the assembly the minister relating the experience pointed out that the lad was continuing as a zealous worshiper of God: “Despite his youth, he has put up a good ‘fight for the faith’ and is determined to continue this, with the help of and to the honor of his Creator.” As long as the boy remains under parental authority, he must be an obedient son in everything that does not directly conflict with God’s Word. But it is a wise son who realizes that, when human commands conflict with those of God, one’s obligations to God come first.—Eph. 6:1; Acts 5:29; Eccl. 12:1.