Parents—Instill Useful Habits in Your Children
1 Useful habits are not acquired naturally, nor are they acquired by accident. Instilling good habits in children, moreover, takes time. “Instill” means “to impart gradually” or “to cause to enter drop by drop.” Consistency is required from parents in order for them to “go on bringing [their children] up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah.”—Eph. 6:4.
2 Start From Infancy: The ability of very young children to learn and to do new things is remarkable. Although adults often find it difficult to learn a new language, preschool children can learn two or three languages simultaneously. Never feel that your child is too young to develop good habits. If instruction in Bible truth begins early and is continued, by the time a child is a few years old, his mind will be filled with the knowledge that will make him “wise for salvation.”—2 Tim. 3:15.
3 Make Field Service a Habit: A useful habit to be instilled during a child’s formative years is that of regularly preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom. Many parents start this by taking their children in the house-to-house ministry while the children are infants. The parents’ regular involvement in the witness work helps their children develop appreciation and zeal for the ministry. Parents can show children how to share in giving a witness in each feature of field service.
4 Being enrolled in the Theocratic Ministry School also helps children. It teaches them good study habits and how to read with understanding. They learn to converse about the Bible, make return visits, and conduct Bible studies. Such training may inspire them to pioneer and reach out for special privileges of service. Many Bethelites and missionaries fondly recall their early days in the school and look on it as a provision that helped them develop useful habits.
5 We are all like clay in the hands of the Great Potter, Jehovah. (Isa. 64:8) The fresher the clay, the easier it is to mold. The longer it dries, the harder it becomes. So it is with people. When they are young, they are more pliable—and the younger, the better. Their tender years are formative years, when shaping will take place for good or for bad. As a caring parent, begin early to instill in your children useful habits in the Christian ministry.