It's a matter of fact that our children are our greatest resource. They hold the future in their hands. What do you want the future to hold for you? Raising a child is the biggest responsibilty and the greatest privilege we could ever be given. A child is a gift from God. We should respect that gift by training them up in His Word and give them back to Him the same way He gave them to us. Once a child learns the difference between right and wrong and can make their own choices, they will either move toward God through Christ or they will deny Him. Once this decision is made, God no longer considers us His children. (Refer to 1 Jn.3:10) Those who deny Christ are children of the evil one. If a child isn't raised in a home where Christ resides, it will be more difficult to come to know Him one day. So set the standards early on for living a life of righteousness.
Proverbs 22:6 says to train up a child in the way they should go and they will not depart from it as they get older. In other words, with age comes wisdom and you never go very far from your roots. What you learned as a child, you will be apt to returning to as an adult. Training up a child is not just telling them something, but showing them as well. There is no better teacher than experience. Look at the animal world and how they rear their young. They learn through imitating their parents. We as humans should be even smarter, but so many times we neglect to show our children the right way to live and treat other people because we ourselves aren't practicing it.
The Bible teaches us that God is love. He loves us first and foremost. He gave the ultimate sacrifice to prove how much He loves us. God desires for us to love Him as well by living a life dedicated to serving Him. We show this love by training up our children to live honest, moral lives. The main commandments we learn is to love God first and then to love others as ourselves, this includes our own children.
But sadly, this seems to be an archaic way of thinking. We have become selfish and running a race to see who can own the most and the besttoys first. The advertising media teaches us that loving your child means giving them everything they want. But God says this is not what they need. Society tells us unless we give our children material wealth over a solid, stable life, we can't possibly be a good parent. When we are made to feel guilty that our children are deprived simply because they don't have the top of the line electronics, and should be allowed to do as they please, then Satan is winning the war on our children. If all they are being shown is that love means giving them everything they want, we are robbing them of their true inheritance. God has already given us everything we will ever need, and it's not the latest PlayStation game. This prostitutes their true value as God's very own child. We are selling them out in order that we will be their best friend instead of their parent. God never meant for parents and children to be best friends because it doesn't work. When a parent strives for their child to regard them as a friend, they have actually destroyed any respect that their child had for them. Being a parent is not a popularity contest. Being a parent means training up a child to revere God and serve Him. Obedience is very important to God. He meant for our children to obey us, not the other way around. So what if your child gets mad every time you tell them “no". Some day they will have children of their own and will thank you that you didn't give them everything they thought they wanted.
"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. " Col. 3:20
God is telling us that children need to respect and obey their parents because this pleases Him. When God is pleased, we receive His blessings for our lives.
In Ephesians 6:2,3 He says that when children honor their parents they will live long and all will be well with them. In fact, this is the only commandment that comes with a promise of a long, happy life!
God also tells us as parents what not to do.
"Fathers (and mothers), do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment]: but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord. " Eph. 6:4 (Amplified)
A parent who rules with a firm and unyeilding hand will produce resentment in a child. Harsh words that are spoken in commands without explanation of love will cause rebellion. Training a child takes patience and love in setting examples for them. It's teaching them that failure only comes when they give up. Success is learning how to fail and move on. It's not self pity, it's about being humble and trying again and again.
God wants parents to train tenderly, with love and understanding, not with criticism and demoralization. Discipline is the key word, it's showing a child how to live and act at all times in all cirumstances and teaching them the consequences for their actions. It's not all about the punishment after the fact. Training a child in the counsel and admonition of the Lord is revealing to them the truth of God's Word. When a child is truly trained in this manner, they will be able to determine ahead of time the outcome of their own actions. A child who is not taught God's way will inevitably lead to a derailment of family values. This way of thinking will be handed down through future generations. Could this possibly be what's going on today? There are more divorces, more abuses, more abandonment, more unemployed, more drug and alcohol addictions, more crime, and less godly training in the home. Can you see a pattern?
So for all the parents, grandparents and guardians of young children, it's imperitive to show children who Christ is in your own life in order that they will imitate your actions in theirs. How does one go about doing this? By studying and knowing God's instructions for yourself. Your children will believe what they see. Ask yourself what is it you are showing your children? Can they see Christ in you?
Start setting an example by taking your child to church, it's not enough to just send them.
If you want your child to know who Christ is, don't just tell them. . . show them! Remember, all eyes are upon you.
Vivian Gordon writes inspirational and spiritual articles in which to help strengthen the Believer's walk in Christ. They are often taken from today's point of view and used in conjunction with what God says about certain situations and how we are to handle them. There is always an answer for every problem. These articles are not all about asking God “why?" but in finding the answers.