Mom and Dad, it is very important that your children learn how to listen to their conscience and obey God in the small things.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having the conscience seared with a hot iron.
(1 Tim. 4:1-2)
It's hard to believe but these verses are talking about people who once were believers, but now they've "departed from the faith" because their conscience became seared.

If you disobey your conscience repeatedly, eventually your conscience will become seared. This is not a good place to be because it's a place where you can't hear God. This is a place where you don't know right from wrong.

I've met "Christians" who have no problem lying; in fact they believe their own lies. This is what happens when your conscience becomes seared. Proverbs 20:27 says, "...the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord." When your conscience becomes seared, the light goes out.

I was children's pastor at Life of Faith Fellowship in Port Huron, Michigan, in 1979. One couple at the church had two daughters, Stacy, who was six, and Debbie who was four.

One day, Debbie asked her mom if she could spend the night at a friend's house who lived next door.

Debbie's mom didn't know how to respond because their neighbors weren't Christians; however, she didn't want to say anything negative about the neighbors. She responded by saying, "Mommy needs to pray about that," hoping that Debbie would just forget.

Ten minutes later, Debbie cam back, "Mom, did you pray about that yet?"

"No, dear, I haven't. Ask me later."

Ten minutes later, Deb appeared again, "Mom, did you pray about it yet?"

This happened several times before her Mom responded, "Debbie, why don't you pray about it? You go sit in the green chair in the living room, pray in tongues, listen to your heart, and tell me what your heart says."

When her mom came walking through the living room, sure enough, Debbie was sitting in the green chair praying in tongues.

Five minutes later, Deb approached her mom. "Mom my heart told me not to spend the night at the neighbor's house."

Praise the Lord! Debbie had learned how to listen to her heart at four years old. It's good for children to obey their parents, but it's better if they learn how to hear God's voice and obey God on their own.

Mom and Dad won't always be around, especially when they grow up and one of their friends says to them, "How would you like to try one of these little green pills?"

Sometimes Christian kids grow up and never disobey their parents, but then backslide when they get to college because they don't know how to make decisions.

Mom and Dad always told them what to do, and they don't know how to hear from God for themselves.

You still hold veto power, Mom and Dad, but begin to let your children make some decisions on their own. Teach them how to pray about things and listen to their heart.

Source: Children and the Holy Spirit by Mark Harper
Excerpt permission granted by Mark Harper Ministries