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114

TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY

Praying to God about His disciples just before His crucifixion, Jesus said, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which You have given Me; for they are Yours…I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:9, 14-16).

The Church of God practices a little-known Bible instruction referred to as the blessing of children. This practice is mentioned in three New Testament passages (Matt. 19:13-15; Mark 10:15-16; Luke 18:15-17), each describing Christ’s example of formally laying hands on little children to ask a special blessing of protection on them while they are growing up. This very ceremony denotes the dif- ficulty of bringing children safely through Satan’s world to the age of accountability and adulthood. It also reflects how parents need God’s help in successfully carrying out the supremely important—and ex- tremely difficult!—task of successfully rearing children. Therefore, the true Church of God practices the biblical teaching of blessing children (but, of course, it can only do this for its members).

It was God’s intention that His people never forget all that He had done for them in helping them escape from Egypt. Notice what He instructed parents in ancient Israel to do: “And you shall bind them [the laws of God] for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes…And when your son asks you in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God has commanded you? Then you shall say unto your son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: and the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pha- raoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: and He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land which He swore unto our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righ- teousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us” (Deut. 6:8, 20-25).

Regularly remind your children that God calls His people out of the world (Rev. 18:4)—out of its ways, traditions and customs. If you neglect to consistently do this, your children will return to the world at first opportunity!

Teaching About God, His Word and Christianity

115

Teach Your Children to Be Thankful

It has been said that ingratitude is the greatest sin. Yet, this attitude has become an integral part of society. It is ingrained in the lives of most people—even in a time when much of civilization is awash in material possessions and should feel blessed as never before in his- tory. Most now have an expectation that they have a kind of intrinsic right to accumulate more and more money and physical goods, and then attribute it to their own human ingenuity.

Partly as a result of today’s fast-paced world, most people seem to have no time for thankfulness. Work, traffic, family, sports in- volvement, doctor’s appointments, and countless other things are their main priorities. They seem to have no time to thank others, let alone to thank God for all that they have.

Never before in history has the world exhibited this awful char- acteristic as it does today!

Teach your children to be grateful that they are alive, and, once again, that God created them with an awesome potential that they must not squander or lose sight of. (To learn more about why you were born—and what to teach to your children about God’s supreme, marvelous purpose for all mankind—read my book The Awesome Potential of Man.)

Teach your children to appreciate what they have: loving parents who are teaching them God’s Way—warm beds—a home—clothes— food—their toys—their puppy—their health—and on and on.

Then teach them that millions of children are homeless, starving and battling disease as a daily way of life. Explain that many others are being orphaned by circumstances that they themselves will never experience.

If you are living according to God’s standards, then your chil- dren have an extraordinary opportunity that the vast majority of hu- man beings do not have, and will not have in this age—to be taught by parents who know, understand and live God’s Way of Life. Con- tinually remind them of how truly blessed they are, and that they will be protected from all the horrors that lie ahead for a sinning man- kind.

In addition, whenever they suffer setbacks or face obstacles in their lives—and they will!—teach them to even thank God for adver- sity. Help them see that bad times are really opportunities to seek and

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