Teaching Your Children
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
The book of Proverbs is a wonderful and intensely practical guide that contains much wisdom mothers and fathers can impart to their children. Here are some lessons that will serve children well their entire lives.
Teach your children: To have a healthy fear of God –– Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Also, Proverbs 10:27;15:16 and; 16:6;). There are two kinds of fear mentioned in the Bible. The first kind of fear is the fear of the Lord, which is healthy and to be encouraged. The second kind of fear the Bible talks about is a "spirit of fear" (see 2 Timothy 1:7), which is a hindrance to our life and walk with God.
What does it mean to fear the Lord? It’s having an attitude of respect and awe for all God is, which includes His unfailing love, mercy, power, and glory, and also characteristics like His righteous anger and wrath. The fear of the Lord contains many blessings and benefits as well as, true salvation. It leads to wisdom and understanding (Psalm 111:10). Also, with the fear of the Lord is life and true rest (Proverbs 14:27; 19:23).
Teach your children: To guard their minds –– Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Teaching a child to watch over their heart, means: their mind, their emotions and their will. The heart is like a depository of all wisdom to encourage right decisions on every issue of life. Be careful what your children watch, read, and listen to. Their minds are simple, uncomplicated and somewhat unaffected by the things of this world. That’s why they need guidance through their formative years in the things that enter the eye gate –– impacting the heart.
Teach your children: To obey you –– Proverbs 1:8, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” Proverbs 6:20-23, My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:”
It is an unbelievable thing to watch young mothers today trying to get their children to obey. They stroll through the store with a screaming child while they count to numbers that mean absolutely nothing. They attempt to threaten or intimidate their children into obedience but never succeed. They continue to ignored the fit that has proceeded throughout the store and the child has not yet obeyed. Is that a picture of “Teaching your child to obey?” No! Teaching a child to obey takes time and discipline on the part of the mother/parent. Sometimes, it’s embarrassment that causes a mother to just say, “forget it!” We can’t do that if we want our children to learn the godly aspect of obedience. Teaching a child to obey, mom and dad, is important and biblical because it guides a child into the practice of obeying God as they mature and grow older.
Thought: Training children is not an easy task, but it is extremely rewarding. We, as parents, are instructed to train up children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” We are to love, discipline, and instruct them in the precepts of the Word of God. We are instructed never to provoke, annoy, or anger our children with unreasonable demands or criticisms. But, we are to bring our children up to respect the ways of God as a foundation of life in godliness, with blessings.
*I will continue some further lessons in the book of Proverbs on, “Teaching Your Children,” next week.