Summary: Our primary task as parents is to prepare our sons and daughters to walk according to God’s plan, God’s will, and God’s purpose for their lives. Here are three steps to help prepare or give proper training of your children to live for God.
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
Our primary task as parents is to prepare our sons and daughters to walk according to God’s plan, God’s will, and God’s purpose for their lives. It is the responsibility of parents and grandparents to instill in their children and grandchildren an unshakable faith that will guide them through life and protect them from the attacks of the world and the Devil. Paul commended Timothy’s genuine and sincere faith instilled in him by his grandmother Lois, and mother Eunice. Let me share with you three steps to help prepare or give proper training of your children.
I. Wet their appetite for the things of God
A. Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
B. This verse has often been misused as a “rabbit’s foot” of sorts; that if we are good godly parents our children are guaranteed to not turn out bad and even if they should go out into the depths of sin they will eventually come back to God.
C. “Chanokh la-naahr ahl pi dark” - The Hebrew word for “train up” (Chanokh) is actually used to describe the palate of the mouth. The writer of Proverbs was creating a word picture for his readers. In the time of Solomon, the writer of Proverbs, a Hebrew mid-wife, after helping to deliver a baby, would dip her finger into a paste made of dates and rub it on the gums of the new baby. This action would cause the baby to be hungry for more, triggering his desire to suck. Also back then there was no Gerber’s baby food, so young mothers used to chew up the food they were eating and touch it to the palate of their babies; thus, developing the acquiring of their babies' tastes for the food of whatever culture the food was from.
D. Feed them the Word of God – 1 Peter 2:1-3 “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.”
E. Read your children Bible stories as often as you can. When they get older, read the Bible to them. Explain what the Bible is. Explain who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are. Allow them to ask you any questions they have about the Bible. Answer their questions the best way you know how.
F. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
G. Take them to God’s House - Bring your children to church with you. Don’t just drop them off. Enroll them in Sunday School. Talk with them about what they learned in class. Ask them if they have any questions about the lessons.
H. Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
I. Show them the importance of church attendance by your own attendance.
J. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”
K. Pray with your children. Explain that they can talk to God through prayer.
Transition: Sometimes children have no appetite because they have been eating the wrong things.
II. Set boundaries and expectations
A. Too many parents have the attitude of “I won’t force my views on my children. I believe inletting them decide for themselves.”
B. Proverbs 29:15 “... a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.”
C. Children aren’t necessarily the best judges of what is or isn't the best for them in the long run. If they were allowed to make their own choices, they wouldn’t ever go the dentist, take a bath, eat their veggies, attend school, or go to church. We need to set boundaries and expectations for our children.
D. Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
E. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. – Matthew Henry:
F. In our society, it's a parents responsibility, the duty and role they take on when they decide to have children, to keep them safe, housed, clothed, fed, and educated. Until they are 18, then the child can go forth and decide for themselves. If parents start letting children decide for themselves before that, we lose that important and limited time we have to teach them ourselves – Frances Andrus - response in a Facebook article regarding 16 yr old Abby Sunderland.