Summary: Raising children today is more complicated, not only because they live in an era of modern technology or a digital era in which everything is computerized, but because we compete with the world of entertainment, public schools, and even governments who have and propagate values different from ours.
Raising children today is more complicated, not only because they live in an era of modern technology or a digital era in which everything is computerized, but because we compete with the world of entertainment, public schools, and even governments who have and propagate values different from ours. Many films expose violence, so "bullying" fights occur everywhere, even murder. There was a 9-year-old boy who was asked by his teacher what he wanted to be in the future; he replied with a smile, "Murderer." His teacher was shocked and thought he was joking. But it didn't. The teacher asked, "Why?" The boy said, "Like in movies and games, killing people is fun." Not to mention the sexual revolution currently targeted at children, the Warson Seven wrote an article titled "Sex Sells. And Our Children Are Prime Targets." The author warns parents to teach their children about biblical sexuality as early as possible because they have become the target of promoting sexual immorality. Netflix also exposed children's sexuality in the movie released last year.
In this situation, how should fathers raise their children rightly? Let's learn what the Bible teaches.
1. He should teach his children God's truth. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
In the Old Testament, teaching children was given to parents, not priests or prophets, or in our context today, not to pastors, ministers, or Sunday School teachers.
2. He should spend time with his children! How can a father teach his children if he doesn't spend time with his children? Father has many responsibilities. In some cultures, he is the breadwinner or provides for his family's needs. Because of that, some fathers work hard and long hours. As a result, they ignore another responsibility: raising their children. They are too busy with their jobs and have no time with their children. As a result, they may successfully fulfill their family's financial needs but not their children's emotional needs. Some fathers, probably because they are too young, immature, and irresponsible, are not ready to have children. Therefore, they ignore and even abandon their children. Research shows that the absence of a father has caused so many problems in their children's lives. This video shows it. (Play: FD 2022 Absence of Father)
3. He should pray daily for his children. As parents, we are limited. We can only watch our children sometimes. When they go to college, we rarely see them. But we can always pray for them. 1 Chronicles 29:19 recorded David's prayer for his son, Solomon: "And give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies, and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision." What a beautiful prayer! Job 1:5 also shows a beautiful blessing from a devoted father: "When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus, Job did continually."
4. He should not force his children to follow what he wants. Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, and [or even] when he is old he will not depart from it." 'In the way he should go' is literally 'according to his way.' It may mean according to his personality, temperament, responses, or stage in life. On the other hand, it could tell how he ought to go. The Hebrew grammar permits either interpretation. However, the context favors the latter view. 'Way' in Proverbs usually means a person's path through life, not one's personality, disposition, or stage in life. Consequently, the verse says the parent should train a child in the way of wisdom to live in fear of God.
5. He should be an excellent example for his children. Paul says to Titus, and all of us in Titus 2:7-8, "In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching, show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us." Children often model their behaviors after their examples. Likely, your kids watch and observe your actions without you even knowing. When they do, what do they see? What do they hear? How do your activities contribute to their interactions with their siblings and friends? How can you guide your kids to set a good example?