Raise Them Right

Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. Jeremiah 10:24

When I was  a Juvenile Probation Officer (before I had my own children), it was obvious that respect for authority and the influence of parental examples is settled at a very young age. This means that we have to be thinking about our influence, and the discipline a child needs, from the moment they are outside the womb.

How does the Christian parent train a child to love the LORD, respect authority, serve God, and love his/her neighbor?

Children need to be taught from a young age, according to God’s Word. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Psalm 145:12, Ephesians 6:4). The younger they understand that the world does not revolve around them, the sooner they understand their need for a Savior.

There are five important areas of discipline for parents who trust that God is truly sovereign, and what His Word teaches about the discipline of children is the best way to parent.

  • Discipline – Children who are not disciplined will be a trial to raise and a burden to others (Psalm 119:118, Proverbs 11:12, 15:21). The scriptures instruct on discipline, both parental and God’s. If we fail to correct our children, God will. (Proverbs 17:18, 29, 19:18, 22:15, 29:17)
  • Language – Children imitate us! They use our language, their intonations are usually traceable to a parent, and even the way we address people is passed down to the next generation. They want to be like us. Colossians 3:8 warns us to remove filthy language from our lips. Proverbs 12:18 reminds us that some of our words feel like sword thrusts to others. Do we want our children to feel as if they have been stabbed when we correct them?
  • Words – When instructing a child, using biblical terms will acquaint them with the Lord and His Word. Our culture misuses so many words that we need to be deliberate in our instruction. E.g. “kindness” rather than “niceness,” “obey” rather than “do” what I say, “truthful” rather than “correct,” “faithful” or “trustworthy” rather than just “likable” or “safe.”
  • Teach them about self-government (self-control) as well as family government, church government, and civil government. (This concept has too many examples for this short post).
  • Guidance – Do you have a child who seems undisciplined and you don’t know what to do? Seek help from an older, godly woman. The bible instructs older women to teach and train the younger women (Titus 2:3-6), including how to “love her children.” Is there an older woman in your local assembly who has raised her family and may have a wealth of knowledge for your situation?
  • Set a righteous example – In order for parents’ words to have any power or influence in a child’s life, we will have to practice what we preach. A child’s radar picks up hypocrisy as quickly as any adult. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey His commands.  If we expect our children to obey our commands, what example are we setting with how we obey the commands of Christ? (See Deuteronomy 12;28; John 13:15; Philippians 3:17; John 14:15).

The child who is raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord will be an asset to his/her community as he/she loves her neighbor, a joy to his/her parents (Proverbs 29:17), and blessed of the Lord because of his/her own obedience to His Word.

What example are we setting for them? Who/what instructs the way we discipline?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Leave a comment