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Teach Your Children Respect for All Authority

Let’s momentarily return to something previously discussed. Recall that the Fifth Commandment declares, “Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you” (Ex. 20:12). When its intent is properly under- stood, with parents as the all-important starting point, this command extends broadly to respecting every form of authority—grandpar- ents, teachers, police officers, coaches and others.

If you teach your children to respect and obey you, you are teaching them to develop a similar relationship with God. As a par- ent, you must understand that, to your children, you play this vital role. In the early years, you represent the most that they can under- stand about the power of God.

When you teach your children—when you correct them—when you encourage them—when you inspire them—you are creating a basis on which they will respond to their Divine Parent later, when they are called.

Teach your children to never show disrespect, belligerence or rebellion, hostility or defiance to authority. The apostle Peter wrote of conditions on earth just before Christ’s Return: “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and DESPISE GOV- ERNMENT. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (II Pet. 2:10).

The modern age could easily be called the age of disrespect and rebellion. Make no mistake. Your children are surrounded by these influences and could easily be overwhelmed by them if they are not carefully prepared to resist them.

Never forget that if you do not respect authority—and this will be readily apparent to your children—why should they? If you do not, they will not.

In addition, thoroughly instill into your children’s thinking a re- spect for, and obedience to, all of man’s laws when they do not con- flict with the laws of God (Acts 5:29; Titus 3:1).

Train Your Children to Listen and Be Quiet

Train your children in the difference between hearing and LISTENING. This will help them to perform better in school, to correctly follow

Teaching About All-important Character


instructions, to be a better friend—and, in the future, to be a better husband or wife, and a better father or mother.

The apostle James wrote, “…let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (1:19). A quick look at news talkshows pro- vides ample proof—every night!—that the world does not heed this passage. Also, reporters are trained to speak in “sound bites” because most people do not care about the details and only want to hear in “sound bites.”

Therefore, you must actively teach your children to listen careful- ly. And you must show them how, and this means learning not to inter- rupt when someone else is speaking. When you give them instructions, sometimes make them repeat what you said. If they cannot remember, make them sit and wait for you to repeat it again at your convenience. You will be surprised how much better listeners they become.

Proverbs 23:22 states, “Hearken unto your father that begot you, and despise not your mother when she is old.” In the family, fathers and mothers hold offices that require—should demand—respect! Children must learn to respect their parents—and listen to them. Romans 8:7 reveals that this is far from automatic—that it must be learned. The of- fice of “parent” is one of the highest offices in your children’s life—one that they must deeply respect, for their own good. So declares the Fifth Commandment.

However, you cannot expect them to do this if you are never will- ing to listen to them. Many parents continually “put off” their children, treating them as though they are inconveniences in the way of more important things. Incredibly, only 16 percent of people even believe that children are important to marriage.

You have no doubt heard it said that “God gives us two ears but only one mouth for a reason.” This is important for both parents and children to understand. If you expect your children to listen to you, then you must listen to them. Of course, this comes with limits you must discern.

Above all, teach your children that life actually requires them to listen—that it is essential for SUCCESS in every endeavor, small and large. Their future college education and careers will depend on developing this quality!

Ingrain Into Your Children to Never Violate Trust

Teach your children that if they want to be trusted, they must always be worthy of the trust they receive. If you do this correctly, present

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