and that from infancy you have known the holy writings [the Hebrew Scriptures], which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:14, 15) Note that Paul mentions (1) knowing the holy writings, (2) being persuaded to believe the things learned, and (3) becoming wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
4. What tools have you found to be effective when you teach your young children? (See opening picture.)
4 As a Christian parent, you want your child to know the holy writings, which today include the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the Christian Greek Scriptures. Depending on their ability, even very young children can gain a basic education about the people and events of the Bible. Jehovah’s organization has provided a number of tools that parents can use to help their children. Can you think of some that are available in your language? Remember, knowledge of the Scriptures is the foundation on which a strong relationship with Jehovah is built.
“WISE FOR SALVATION”
11, 12. What is wisdom, and why can we conclude that it is not measured solely by a person’s age?
11 As we have seen, Timothy had (1) knowledge of the Scriptures and (2) conviction about his beliefs. But what did Paul mean by saying that the holy writings could make Timothy “wise for salvation”?
12 Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 2, explains that, in the Bible, wisdom includes “the ability to use knowledge and understanding successfully to solve problems, avoid or avert dangers, attain certain goals, or counsel others in doing so. It is the opposite of foolishness.” The Bible says that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” (Prov. 22:15, ftn.) Logically, then, wisdom—the opposite of foolishness—would be one evidence of maturity. Spiritual maturity is not determined primarily by age but by a person’s healthy fear of Jehovah and readiness to obey his commands.—Read Psalm 111:10.
13 Young ones who are reasonably mature spiritually are not “tossed about as by waves and carried here and there” by their desires or by pressure from their peers. (Eph. 4:14) Rather, they are making progress in having “their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong.” (Heb. 5:14) They demonstrate that they are progressing toward maturity by making wise decisions—even when their parents or other adults are not watching. (Phil. 2:12) That kind of wisdom is necessary for salvation. (Read Proverbs 24:14.) How can you help your children to acquire it? First of all, make sure that you clearly state your Bible-based values to your children. By your words and by your example, let them know that the values found in God’s Word are also your values.—Rom. 2:21-23.
14, 15. (a) A young person contemplating baptism should consider what weighty issues? (b) How can you help your children ponder blessings that come from obeying God’s laws?
14 However, more is involved than simply telling your children what is right and what is wrong. You would also do well to help them reason on such questions as: ‘Why does the Bible forbid things that can be appealing to the flesh? What convinces me that Bible standards are always for my own good?’—Isa. 48:17, 18.
15 A child who expresses interest in getting baptized should be helped to reason on yet another matter—how he or she feels about the responsibilities that come with being a Christian. What are the benefits? What are the costs? How do the benefits greatly outweigh the costs? (Mark 10:29, 30) Those are issues that one is likely to face after baptism. Therefore, it is crucial to think these matters through before taking that serious step. When children are helped to consider deeply the blessings of obedience and the consequences of disobedience, they are more likely to develop a personal conviction. Which one? That Bible standards are always in their best interests.—Deut. 30:19, 20.