TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
selves” and that it is more healthy to “vent,” to release bad feelings trapped inside.
This is ridiculous, and contrary to the way generations before them viewed life.
Consider Proverbs 16:32: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.”
In ancient times, it was extremely difficult for an army to besiege and conquer a walled city. That is why God had to personally bring Jericho’s walls down (Josh. 6).
Likewise, it is hard to control one’s emotions, especially under times of duress—and strength must be developed to do this success- fully. Remember, a Christian is one who strives to always control his feelings, impulses, appetites and emotions. This is inseparable from learning and developing the character of God—the PURPOSE for which you and your children were born.
Never permit your children to scream or throw tantrums—and some parents witness and endure this in an endless cycle—either in public or at home. Wild, raging, out-of-control children will, at best, grow up to be emotionally immature and unstable. At worst, they could harm themselves and/or others.
Again, psychologists once coined the term “terrible twos” to re- duce what are often wild, out-of-control tantrums into a mere “phase” of child development. However, for most, the problem does continue as the “terrible threes,” followed by the “terrible fours,” “terrible fives,” and so forth. Anyone who has been behind someone with a child of these ages in a supermarket or in a bank teller line knows that this is no exaggeration.
But there is another unseen peril for those who open their minds and allow the “walls” surrounding them to collapse. Such children are open to dangerous spiritual influences—EVIL SPIRITS looking for an opening wherever they can find it. God’s Word reveals that fallen angels, called demons, can sometimes enter people from childhood and remain into adulthood. (Take a moment to read the account in Mark 9:14-21.)
Teach your children to control their emotions and desires—not to be ruled by them. Self-control builds mental “walls” that will pro- tect your children’s lives in all situations. Notice: “He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Prov. 25:28). Without the walls of self-control, children are defenseless against carnal appetites and desires.
Teaching About All-important Character
Teach them to properly handle things, and not to “go to pieces” whenever they cannot get their way—to remember that “if you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Prov. 24:10).
Here is a related point, having mostly to do with physical strength, but directly connected to mental strength as well. Fathers (and moth- ers can assist in this), teach your sons the forgotten principle that “the glory of young men is their STRENGTH” (Prov. 20:29). So many young boys today are either pencil-thin or overweight, evidencing an almost total lack of exercise. But increasing numbers are also going to an- other wrong extreme to build muscles—taking steroids! Of course, both problems are evident in many girls today as well.
It has become practically a hallmark of this generation that very few boys are made to do heavy physical chores, such as cutting and carrying firewood, digging ditches, shoveling the snow off a long driveway, or the many kinds of chores done on a farm in past genera- tions, such as helping to bale hay or feed and milk cows. Strive to find as many ways as possible for your children to do physical labor around the home, inside and out. These strengthen both body and mind.
Hard times ARE coming. We are living in “perilous times” (II Tim. 3:1-4), an age of lust, greed and out-of-control appetites. The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord will soon strike man when he is at his weakest—morally and spiritually.
Teach your children to be physically, mentally, morally and spir- itually strong! This will help them survive all that Bible prophecy foretells is just ahead for all nations in this age. In other words, you could literally be saving their life!
Educate in the Use and Appreciation of Good Manners
The vast majority of young people today are completely ignorant of what were once commonly referred to as “the social graces.” Even just the knowledge of receiving an extensive education in these skills has largely become lost to an entire generation. Gone is the time when people understood that manners mattered.
Even a cursory glance at the public conduct of most young peo- ple today demonstrates how most are sorely lacking in the areas of dignity, propriety, decorum and related areas of conduct. Many are rude, and even outright coarse and crude when it comes to manners and etiquette—and this is true in almost every one of the social grac-