TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
dren who think they know better than He does! You must be deter- mined to follow, without compromise, all of His instruction about childrearing.
God admonishes human parents, “Chasten your son while there is hope, and let not your soul spare for his crying” (Prov. 19:18). But civilization largely rejects God’s wisdom, thinking physical disci- pline—even proper spanking—is child abuse. Therefore, parents must be wise in applying discipline. Never physically discipline a child in public. Those around you will not understand that you are merely employing basic biblical principles of loving childrearing. All physical punishment should be administered at home or in other- wise private settings.
Modern civilization views Proverbs 23:13-14 as harsh: “With- hold not correction from the child: for if you beat [other translations say “spank”] him with a rod, he shall not die. You shall beat [spank] him with a rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell [the grave].” Since society will not employ God’s laws, principles and teachings, is it any wonder that the world is filled with every conceivable problem, trouble, evil and ill?
One of the greatest acts of love that you can show your child is to teach him to respond the first time you speak. He will learn to do this with his school teachers, coaches, future supervisors, police of- ficers and all other authority figures. Think of this as teaching your children not to be their own worst enemies!
If you diligently discipline your children now, in their early years, you will only rarely need to discipline them later. And God states that if you faithfully carry out this responsibility, your children will “give you rest” (Prov. 29:17).
The Punishment Must Fit the Offense
Every wrong action does not carry the same weight of offense. For example, cursing is much worse than not washing behind the ears, and stealing is worse than coming home after curfew. If you do not show your child the right balance—the fundamental ability and com- mon sense to discern serious misconduct from minor infractions— you will teach him bitterness and injustice, to never give the benefit of the doubt and to be merciless to others. Expect that he will reflect the same imbalance you demonstrated in matters of judgment about his actions.
The Biblical Doctrine of Childrearing
Remember, good parents did not start out this way. They had to learn to become good parents. And learning proper balance in chil- drearing TAKES TIME.
Immediately Show Affection Every Time You Discipline Your Child
Never permit your child to feel that his actions have brought your rejection, that he is now “in your doghouse,” until he can work his way out and earn your affection once again. Otherwise, when your child becomes an adult and sins (Rom. 3:23), he will almost invari- ably fall back on the pattern of childhood, and feel rejected by God. He will have trouble believing that God will forgive him (if he re- pents), no matter what the sin may have been. Also, he will similarly feel rejected by future teachers, supervisors, and others, when simple mistakes are pointed out.
Hug your child with genuine affection. Teach him or her that the discipline is over, and that there has been no rejection. All chil- dren love—and require—affection.
Never Forget the Power of Example
Perhaps the single, most powerful tool you can use to teach your children is your example—the way you live.
All children, but particularly small ones, automatically look up to their parents. For younger children, you are the center of their expanding world, and your example affects them more deeply than anything you could teach them.
Are you applying the laws of success in your life? Are you liv- ing the way of “give” and following what you are learning about the true God of your Bible?
The success of your children hinges on your answers! Do you want your children to regularly pray and study God’s Word? Then show them how—study and pray with them. Do you want them to save and spend money wisely? Then you must do the same. Do you want them to spend less time watching television and to pursue worthwhile things—books, hobbies, sports, etc.? Set the example. Too many parents, in effect, unconsciously tell their chil- dren, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Be careful your children might not be able to hear what you are saying because of what you are doing.