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Raising Children in God’s Fear
Children are a great blessing from God. The Psalmist wrote, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5). The Following are some guidelines for parents to raising their children in God’s fear:
Parents have serious responsibility to teach their children about their relationship with the Creator. The young ones should be trained in the knowledge of Scriptures that they may be a blessing to society on this earth and may secure eternal life hereafter (Deuteronomy 31:12-13; Joshua 8:35). For the Lord instructed, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children…” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
Unless parents give their children a spiritual training, at a young age, which can enable them to follow the way of the Lord, the young will not know God. And it is not the will or purpose of the Lord that the young ones should lose their way and become disobedient, unappreciative, unholy, intoxicating, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of the truth (Ephesians 6:4).
Order and Discipline
Since there is perfect order in heaven (Corinthians 14:33), a Christian home should have order and discipline that it may have peace and happiness. If parents neglect to rule their children in love (Hebrews 12:7), how can they hope that their children will be measured as fit companions for the holy angels in heaven?
Those who were raised with no respect for order or authority in this life would have no respect for the heavenly order. For the characters molded in this life will determine their future destinies (Proverbs 22:6; 3:1). When Christ returns to this earth, He will not change the character of any individual. Therefore character development should start on this earth and at the home (Proverbs 29:15).
Parents should teach their young to obey God and man (Proverbs 3:1). The worst thing parents can do to their children is not to correct them when they are misbehaving and to allow them to have their own way (Proverbs 23:13). When parents yield to every wish of their children, the young will lose all respect for authority and fall captive to their own selfish desires.
Eli the high priest, failed to discipline his children according to God’s rules (1 Samuel 3:13). He was lenient with them. As a result, His children were lost and they brought great judgement upon themselves, their family and Israel. Therefore, the Lord instructs that parents should correct their children in love, understanding and patience when they are very young (Ephesians 6:4). They are to teach them right from wrong and protect them from falling (Deuteronomy 6:7).
A Godly Example
One of the signs of the last days is that children will be “disobedient to their parents” (2 Timothy 3:2). Therefore, all Christian parents should prayerfully realize their responsibility and act upon it (Psalm 34:11; 78:5). They should by their godly example leave a model for their children to emulate. The Bible teaches, “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility” (Titus 2:7). Thus, the guardians should exemplify the principles of Christianity in their daily life (Matthew 5:16).
Sadly, many are too busy making a living and creating earthly wealth and neglecting the spiritual need of their children (Mark 4:19). As parents, we want our Heavenly Father’s approval as He did to Abraham when He said, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment” (Genesis 18:19). There is no greater joy than to raise children in the way of the Lord knowing that when they grow up they will not deviate from it (3 John 1:4).
In His service,