What is happening to the heart of a child if it is not being softened by the Word of God?
Parents can do something that may actually harden a child’s heart against God: expose their child to the teachings of a non-Christian school for seven hours a day, five days a week.
We need to take a minute to define this term, “hardening.” The Bible teaches that there is no neutral ground or actions- everything is either for or against Christ (Matthew 12:30), and there are things that soften the heart of a child and things that harden the heart of a child.
For example, teaching that God does not exist from the very earliest years of a child’s life will have a hardening effect on the heart of a person and create a thought process that will make it more difficult to believe that there is a God later in life. Conversely, being taught that there is a God from a child’s earliest years will prepare the heart and mind of the child to believe that God exists later in life. This is why God commands parents to immerse their children in His Word and how He normally brings a person to saving faith.
Additionally, God tells us that what goes in through the eyes and ears will affect a person (Luke 11:34). He tells us (including the children) what we should be thinking about in Philippians 4:8 –
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
However, we want to be quick to state that although God usually works through faithful teaching about Him (Romans 10:17), He is not limited to, or dependent on the teachings of men.