TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
Continually stress to your children what lies ahead of them if they remain faithful in God’s Way. Remind them of what their re- ward is now: the blessings that flow from obedience to God’s laws— and what can be their reward later: becoming part of the soon-com- ing millennial rule of Jesus Christ with His saints, and entry into the kingdom of God (Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 7:27).
Require Your Children to Be Mentally Strong Through Life’s Many Trials
In this age, when things go wrong, so many people’s first reaction is to simply “go to pieces” and claim that they have been victimized. They do not know how to be strong when they suffer setbacks, be- cause very few parents any longer know to teach these things.
Teach your children—and setting the right personal example is a crucial part of this—not to “lose it,” but rather to “keep their cool,” when unexpected things derail their plan. Teach them to remember that “the best laid plans of mice and men” can go awry. Point them to Ecclesiastes 3: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace” (vs. 1-8).
Be sure that your children understand that life works in cycles. Point them to this principle: “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider…” (Ecc. 7:14). This means that life involves good times and bad times. In a sense, the bad news is that when your children are in good times, they need to know that bad times will follow. But they also must realize the good news: When they are in bad times, good times will follow. Take time to read what Solomon said about this in the rest of the passage.
Teach your children that moaning about their problems will not help or change anything. They need to be strong—because life has many trials awaiting them. NEVER permit your children to pout or remain in a wrong attitude! Require them to always practice a posi-
Teaching About God, His Word and Christianity
tive approach to everything they do, and this includes not permitting tears to linger for very long after punishment. Be prepared to tell them, “That’s enough.”
Inspire Your Children to Confidence
All those who are led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9, 14) understand that “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7).
Children do not select their parents. One of the greatest tragedies that any child can “inherit” are parents who continually put him down, who constantly belittle, denigrate and criticize his every ac- tion. This non-stop condemnation and criticism is enough in itself to virtually cause any but the strongest children to lose all hope of de- veloping a “can-do” spirit. Help them come to believe they can ac- complish whatever they want in life.
While the world preaches self-confidence and complete reliance on self, Christians rely on boldness, righteousness (Prov. 28:1) and the faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 14:12). Your children must come to understand this at the very deepest level. Teach them the valuable principle of Proverbs 14:26-27: “In the fear of the LORD is STRONG CONFIDENCE: and His children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
The vast majority of those who consider themselves Christians have little more than a hollow, counterfeit fear of God that is taught according to what God calls “the precept of men.” Notice God’s de- scription: “For as much as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men” (Isa. 29:13).
Many “religious” people talk about what they suppose is a genu- ine “fear of God.” This is not the true fear of God, referenced many places in the Bible, but rather reflects the kind of phony, pseudo-fear described in this passage. Be sure that you learn the difference be- tween the right fear of the true God and the wrong fear taught by the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4), and found throughout the many brands of counterfeit, professing Christianity.
Do not allow your children to be shy or timid. Shyness is a major obstacle to enjoying an abundant, successful life! Help them over- come it. Fearing God produces real CONFIDENCE. When one fears