Training Your Children to Serve God

From The Heart

Publish date: 10/10/1999

Proverbs 22:6  (NKJ)

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

Proverbs 20:11  (NKJ)

11Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right.

Many parents allow bad behavior in their children to go uncorrected, because they think that the child does not know any better, but even at a very young age children do know the difference between right and wrong. It is the parent's responsibility to guide them in the right direction. Children are looking for guidance from parents  their flesh will rule them unless they are taught to conquer their flesh. Their own conscience will condemn them unless they have peace before God. The only way to have peace with God is through repentance. Repentance comes through correction and discipline.   

Proverbs 22:15  (KJV)

15Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Children are not born perfectly wise as some misguided "experts" have tried to convince gullible parents. "Just leave them to make their own choices" they say, "and they will make the right ones!" But if these parents had stopped to inquire of some older and wiser (now) grandparents and great-grandparents, they would have heard a different story. Besides that, we have a handbook, written many years ago, inspired by the God who made us and He knows all about us and He knows what is best for us.

Children are born with a personality intact, but all they know and learn of the world is what they are see, hear, taste, smell, touch and are taught. They do make foolish choices, because they don't know or understand everything as they should, but it is our responsibility to train them and to correct them. As parents, we have do decide whether we will trust and obey God in every area of our lives, including how we raise our kids. God's Word is final authority in every area of our lives and the sooner we accept that  the better our lives will be.

Proverbs 23:13-14  (NKJ)

13Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.

14You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.

The Hebrew word for "correction" here yacar (yaw-sar') means to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence, to instruct. It is translated in the KJV as bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach. We are to correct our children and if we do it right, they will not end up in hell. If we raise our children as God directs us they will serve God. If we do not do the right thing in spanking and instructing our children, there is a good chance that they will have a very bad end. The purpose of spanking is for a connection to be made, in the child's brain, between cause and effect  action and consequence. They must learn that bad action bring bad results.

Spanking also is supposed to bring repentance. Without repentance there is no forgiveness. Where there is no forgiveness, there is a tormented heart. Do not torment your children with guilt and condemnation. Give them an opportunity to have peace before God, because ultimately all sin keeps us from the presence of God. Why would we willingly allow sin in our children's lives that will hinder their relationship with God? Who needs the devil with parents who don't have the guts to stand up to the devil and say, "You will not have my child. I will raise him to serve God and to have a clear conscience before God, so that he can come boldly into God's presence!"

Proverbs 20:30  (NIV)

30Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.

If you think that God's discipline is not the right way to do things  consider how you would feel when your uncorrected child ends up in jail or worse! Many "good" parents have ended up weeping over their children, because they did not want to be the "bad guy" and discipline the kid when he was little. Remember you are not your child's friend  you are his parent. He may not seem to delighted with your rules now, but he will come back to thank you for raising him right when he is grown  especially if he has his own kids!

Proverbs 29:15  (KJV)

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

Many people, even highly educated ones, seem to lack wisdom or common sense. They know a lot, but it isn't enough to help them to make a success of their lives. If we are wise parents and if we spank and instruct our children the way God tells us to, they will be wise children and we will not be ashamed of them when they are grown.