Summary: What do biblical counsellors have to say about rearing children? First of all, they expect the child to act sinfully. The Scripture indicates that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15).
Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Senior Pastor), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.
Note to the reader:
If you have been blessed with this sermon compilation, I would be honoured to receive an e-mail from you merely telling me where in the world you are based- I do not need any other information. This is merely so that I can have the pleasure, and give thanks to Almighty God, that all over the globe the ministry which he has entrusted to me, is blessing the body of Christ and helping to extend the Kingdom of God.
Thank you. Herman Abrahams, Cape Town, South Africa.
SERIES: Successful Family
TRAINING CHILDREN IN THE LORD
1. BORN WITH A SINFUL NATURE
What do biblical counsellors have to say about rearing children?
¨ First of all, they expect the child to act sinfully. The Scripture indicates that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15).
¨ In Ephesians 2:3 Paul plainly stated that “by nature” that is by birth, every infant is a child of “wrath”. He is born a sinner.
Since children are born sinners, they will manifest their sinful nature by sinful behaviour from their earliest opportunities. Discipline takes the form of a battle against non-Christian response patterns. However, there is one great advantage to child discipline. If one is aware of the kind of patterns that his child may develop in later life, then as parent he will do all within his ability to instil and structure into his child those patterns which are in line with biblical living. Wherever he sees the weeds of irresponsibility beginning to sprout forth in his child’s life he will seek to root them out and in their place will plant the seeds of responsibility.
2. EACH CHILD IS DIFFERENT
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)
Part of the calling of a parent is to help the child discover what it is that God means him to be and do. Parents are to train up the child in the way that any and every child should go, but also in the (specific and unique) way in which he (or she) should go.
This means that parents must deal with each one of their children under the leading of the Holy Spirit. All parents have to adjust to the sometimes difficult realisation that each one of their children is different - and tend to become more so as they grow older. This does not mean that a family becomes the arena for a rampant individualism, but it does mean that the differences in the character and make-up of the children indicate differences in the destiny which God has appointed for each one of them.
Parents must be on guard lest they force upon a child something of their own desire and ambition. It is not uncommon that a parent will try to live out some aspect of his own life through the life of his child.
The parents must repeatedly ask not only, “Am I doing right?” - but, “Am I doing right for this child?” “Is my teaching helping to train up this child in the way he should go?
3. PRESENTING GOD TO YOUR CHILDREN - THROUGH EXAMPLE
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deut 6:4,5)
This familiar passage of Scripture is actually the beginning of an instruction to parents. Note that it begins by describing the attitude which the parents themselves have toward God.
The Lord knew that without a fundamental love toward God on the part of parents, their teaching of the children would be hollow and base. The starting point, and the foundation, for the priesthood of parents is the parents’ own love and devotion to God.
If parents do not have a living relationship with Jesus, they cannot hope to convey such a relationship to their children.
Children are far more perceptive in spiritual matters than adults sometimes realise. They do not respond merely to the words and formal beliefs of their parents. They sense the inner spirit of the faith, and that is what they react to.
Parents who want their children to know God must cultivate their own relationship with God. The Apostle Paul could say, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). The moral behaviour of parents must be such that they can invite their children to imitate them.