Raising Godly Children

God expects parents to raise their children to serve Him. Parents will answer to God for every child He entrusts to their care.

6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

There is a vast difference between training and mere teaching. Training involves not only teaching, but also practicing what is taught until it becomes a habit.

Proverbs 22:6 does not say children will depart from the way and return to it when they are old. Instead, it promises they will never depart from the correct way -- if they are properly trained.

Children Should Obey

20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

One reason God blessed Abraham was because God knew he would raise Godly children. That requires commanding children to do right -- not just making suggestions and allowing children to choose what they think is best.

19 "For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him."

First Timothy 3:1-7 lists important qualifications for someone involved in a ministry of church oversight. One of them, in verse 4, has to do with how his children act.

4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence

It is your responsibility as a parent to train your children to obey your word and show you respect. If you do not -- you will be to blame for destroying your child.

18 Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.

Use The Rod

If children do not obey, they must be corrected. It is part of the training process so they will learn to do right. The Bible teaches this should be done by using a rod of correction. We might call it spanking with a paddle.

15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.

13 Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.

15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Modern ideas on raising children may change every few years -- the Bible never changes. The rod of correction -- correctly and prayerfully used by a loving parent -- will produce emotionally healthy and happy children.

In life there are consequences to wrong-doing which bring pain. Children need to learn this -- that is why we must spank them. Even though we receive forgiveness, many times there are painful consequences to face.

Spanking Guidelines

Spanking children should not be to punish them for their wrong, but to help correct them.

Never spank a child for an innocent mistake or an accident. Spank only in response to a rebellious act of disobedience to a clearly defined and known rule. You should have clear rules for your children.

Parents should say what they mean -- and mean what they say -- without having to raise their voice or constantly threaten their children. If children do not respect their parent's word, it will be difficult for them to respect God's Word.

Never spank a child unless they knew beforehand what was expected of them. Make sure they understand what they did wrong. Children must understand that the spanking is a consequence of their choice to disobey a clear, known rule -- not the result of their parents' anger.

Never spank a child when you are angry and not in complete control of your emotions. Never hit a child with your hand. Never hit a child anywhere except their rear, where the Creator provided extra padding for their protection.

After spanking your child, always hug them, tell them you love them, and pray with them. Train them to ask God to forgive them for the wrong they have done.

That It May Be Well With You

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:
3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

God promises that children who honor their parents will live long on the earth, and it will be well with them.

Be Examples

Parents must be good examples for their children, because children are natural imitators.

5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.
6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart;
7 "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.

If parents themselves do not live what they teach their children, the children will realize they are hypocrites, and will not follow their teaching.

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

You must put God's Word first and walk in love toward your children to succeed as a parent. Give them time and attention. Do things together. Play with them and talk with them. Showing love to them, and teaching them about God, are essential.

You should not yell at your children or provoke them to wrath. Parent's words are extremely important. Build your children up: encourage them and praise them. Tell them you love them.

If you have fallen short in raising your children up to now -- cry out to God for forgiveness and help. He will forgive you and help you.

As long as your children are still alive, there is hope for God to change them. If you will pray in faith, obey God, and walk in love, God will work in your children's lives and change them.

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