We, as adults, do not have time to believe in such things as the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, etc. Children accept these creatures or people who only appear when they are asleep so they know they will never see them, but they still eagerly await their visits when the time is right. The years they can easily accept these things is the best time to get them in church becuase this raw faith gives them opportunity to be completely open to God's word without the world's questinong of Him impacting their perception.
I am in no way comparing God to Santa, the Easter Bunny, or anything else. God is real and the others are tools parents use to give children hope and something to look forward to. But they have faith that these others are real without question and if taught the word of God they will accept it as the truth and believe without a doubt God will take care of them, how many of us can honestly say we have never questioned God.
A great example of how a little teaching goes a long way is my son Jackson. When we started taking him to church I was worried about how it would go even over the long term becuase not only young, just turned 6, but he has Asperperger's Syndrome which causes him to have a very literal interpration of everything. He has to know the whats and whys for any situation which makes some things difficult for him. When we started church he could not understand why we go, he wanted to know who God was, why we could not see Him, and where he was. This is hard concepts for someone who if who does not funtion well with the abstract. Now he loves going to church, looks forward to it, and even blesses the food from time to time. This shows the power of God and how just a little of His word can imapct our children.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Isaiah 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Luke 18:15-17 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Another thing you have to consider when raising or even seeing others kids is discipline. Discipline is one of many things that are going to help your child grow up to be a respectful, contributing member of society. Discipline is probably one of the most debated of them, spank vs time outs, scolding, grounding, etc. I personally believe spanking, when used correctly, can be beneficial. I am not saying beat your child, there is an obvious line between discipline and abuse and anyone who cannot tell the difference does not need to use corporal punishment. It also depends on the child, each kid is different and you have to figure out what types of punishments are most effective for each. This is a huge challenge, but it can be done.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
There are more and more new stories of parents or adults harming children before and after birth. Yes I mean abortion. From the point of conception we are human and we are a person. God is the reason for every pregnancy and He has a plan for each one of these souls.
Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
For those who harm their children, such as the woman in Missouri that suffocated her child in the trash bag. We are not to kill in general, but children hold a special place with God and harming them will result in a special punishment from God.
Matthew 18:10 See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 18:2-6 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.