TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
If God is not in the “house” you are building—if you do not in- volve Him in the way you rear your children—you are destined to reap pain and sorrow of almost every kind.
Verse 3 continues: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” Plainly, your children are God’s special gift to you. Unlike most people, who cannot wait until their children are grown up and gone, you should cherish them throughout their time under your charge.
So tragically, many people think that children are a burden. They do not understand that it is selfish not to want children. Such people would rather focus on THEMSELVES than share their knowledge, expe- rience and attention with the next generation. They are unable to see children as little fellow human beings with whom they can practice and share the love of God.
When God brought Adam and Eve together in marriage, He in- structed them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Recognize that this instruction was actually a command from Him to have children, because the family unit is the human pat- tern picturing His own Divine Family. While this is a subject of other books and booklets—and I have written many explaining this pattern within God’s SUPREME PURPOSE—it should at least be briefly acknowl- edged here in the context of the shrinking size of the average family in Western civilization.
Verse 4 of Psalm 127 adds more: “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” By, in effect, “shoot- ing an arrow,” you (as a parent) are extending your life beyond yourself—through your children. This is one of the reasons verse 5 concludes with “Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them”!
Now read the very next Psalm, and its exciting promise: “Blessed is every one [who] fears the LORD; [who] walks in His ways.” This is because if you do, “Your wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides [heart] of your house: your children like olive plants round about your table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed [who] fears the LORD” (128:1, 3-4).
Children are sent to parents as a blessing—not a burden. So says the Creator God.
Understand, however. God has not given children to you to merely be your possession. Remember that they are your bless- ing!
The Biblical Doctrine of Childrearing
Childrearing Is a Stewardship
As previously mentioned, God has given children to you as a gift of STEWARDSHIP. If you are a true Christian, called out of the world and being led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9, 14), you understand that your children could one day have the same opportunity. At some point in the future when your stewardship is completed, God will take back your children. When it becomes time for Him to offer them salvation, and for them to receive His Holy Spirit, fol- lowing repentance and conversion, your final record will have largely been written. The efforts of your stewardship—your chil- drearing today—will have made God’s job tomorrow either harder or easier.
Grasp this. You hold far more authority in this process than you may have dreamed!
In ancient Israel, God did not consider people to be adults until they had reached the age of 20. Today, for most, this is age 18. In this sense, God has given you approximately 18 to 20 years of steward- ship, to finish the product that He will receive.
In the Parable of the Pounds, Christ taught that all Christians must “occupy” until He returns to set up the kingdom of God (Luke 19:11-27). At that time, all God’s true servants will have to give an accounting of every aspect of their life. How well parents “occupy” in wisely carrying out their childtraining stewardship now reveals to God whether He can trust them to rule over cities in the World to Come. Take a moment to read this extraordinary, detailed parable. As a Christian and a parent, your stewardship includes your children and family. In verses 20-22, Christ agreed with the unprofitable steward that He was “austere.” But verses 23 to 26 show that God expects us to use the stewardship He gives us!
Jesus explained to His disciples that the Christian walk is diffi- cult. Here is what He told them to expect: “Enter you in at the strait [difficult] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
The living Jesus Christ has very high standards for those who choose to follow Him. It is the Christian parent’s task to sow a boun- tiful crop—it is Christ’s plan to reap it.