The first piece of information you hear about something becomes the most formative in your mind. A child is told something, and the blank slate of their mind will judge everything against that information for the rest of their life.
This can be as simple as don’t hit girls to something more complex like how the earth was created. We make up our minds, and then, whether we admit it or not, we judge every new piece of information against the original teaching.
Once you understand this concept, it will help to explain so many things to you. This is why dysfunctional families continually repeat the cycle of dysfunction. It is because this is how ordinary people behave in their minds. It also explains why changing someone’s mind about almost any topic is difficult. Their views are set, and they have years of experience that informs them they are correct.
The application of this idea is significant for parents in two ways. First, this is why every parent needs to be teaching their children, along with all the children they encounter, about God and his word. They need to give the information first. And if parents do not know enough, they need their children involved in numerous activities and ministries at the Church to teach them.
Second, parents and church members must discuss deep and complex topics with young Christian people. Otherwise, they will go to college, and someone will talk to them about these subjects and capture their mind with unchristian teaching.
The old saying is “first in wins.” That means the first person to get information from someone will always be the most significant influence. They have won the battle for the mind. So as a Christian, we need to ensure that we are working to be first in everything possible.