TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
The Four Important Rules of Childrearing
Contrary to common belief, people are not born with the knowledge of how to be good parents!
Due to all the stresses of today’s fast-paced life, we have seen that parents turn to television to help keep their children occupied. In an effort to have some quiet time, and to avoid the hard work of train- ing their children, parents essentially hand their children over to the worst possible “babysitters” and “nannies”—Hollywood screenwrit- ers, television producers, computer programmers (those who pro- duce video games), etc. These people become the children’s most dedicated mentors!
It takes hard work to be a parent! It is a full-time job that requires substantial, ongoing effort. Many parents today seemingly have little or no time for their children! Without correct priorities, most will also not make the time for their children!
Long gone are the days when the entire family would spend time together discussing an endless array of interesting topics. Gone are the times when children would read book after book, learning about the world around them. Now, their minds are drained by technology, and parents willingly give up their responsibility to teach their chil- dren how to live, how to think and how to become productive, suc- cessful adults.
Again, you may have never thought of correct childrearing as a biblical teaching, but it is. Properly rearing a child—made in the im- age and form of God, destined to be born into His Family—requires spiritual understanding from God. In fact, because of all that is at stake in the outcome of just one child, of course God would have to give detailed instruction.
No parent naturally knows everything about how to rear a child the correct way. God must teach this knowledge—like any other doc- trine revealed in His Word. The parent must become a student of God’s Word on this vitally important subject.
Some people are naturally better at parenting and working with children than others. Some are better at nurturing children. Others are better at admonishing them. Yet, all parents must be taught by God. All parents need to study His instruction on childrearing. Strive to merge the good things that you may have already been blessed to know with what God’s Word reveals.
The Biblical Doctrine of Childrearing
Notice the New Testament instruction in Ephesians 6: “Children, OBEY your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR your father and mother: (which is the first commandment with promise)” (vs. 1-2). Children must be taught to respect their parents—this does not come naturally. If followed, this commandment—and the application of all childrearing principles—will yield blessings, as Ephesians 6 contin- ues: “That it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth” (vs. 3).
This Bible chapter next addresses parents: “And, you FATHERS, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture [education, training, instruction] and admonition [mild rebuke, warn- ing, correction, discipline] of the Lord” (vs. 4). We will revisit this passage in Chapter Seven in a different context.
Help your children to honor you. Make it easy for them. No child will grow up to respect a nagging parent who berates him at every opportunity. Would you?
Set clear boundaries for your children. This means being com- mitted to using discipline when necessary.
You must also be determined and equally committed to continu- ally teaching your children all the vital lessons and important prin- ciples of life. It has been said that the single greatest gift you can give your child is to be a wise and understanding parent, one able to teach them in almost every circumstance.
Now for what I call the FOUR GREAT RULES of childrearing:
Teach your children absolutely everything they need to
Do not allow your children to merely stumble into adulthood. Just as God teaches you, so you must TEACH them. This is your re- sponsibility, as the following scripture shows: “And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: and you shall TEACH them diligently unto your children, and shall TALK of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deut. 6:6-7).
Be prepared to teach your children all the time, and on every occasion—the proverbial morning, noon and night. Your responsi- bility is to instruct them in all the values they need in order to suc- ceed. God designed children to be like sponges—they were created