Training Your Children to Serve God — Part Two

From The Heart

Publish date: 10/17/1999

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.

Proverbs 19:18  (KJV)

18Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

The NKJ says, “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.” And the NIV says, “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” The Hebrew word tiqvah (tik-vaw') translated “hope” here, means literally, a cord (as an attachment); figuratively, expectancy. Translated in the KJV as expectation, expected, hope, live, thing that I long for. We need to bring correction into our children’s lives while there is hope for them. The younger your child is, the more hope there is.

Proverbs 13:24  (NKJ)

24He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

According to the Bible, if you love your child you will discipline him early in his life and you will not hold back from spanking him. Start correcting your children early in their lives - don’t wait until you see bad fruit before you try to bring correction. The root is the problem and the root is established when the “plant” is a seedling. In most cases, we only see the “fruit” in their teenage years which is almost too late. You must keep sowing spankings and correction and direction into their lives from babyhood and in due time you will reap the precious harvest of a soul who loves God and loves righteousness.   

Proverbs 29:17  (NKJ)

17Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.

When we put the time and effort into raising our kids God’s way when they are young then we will have peace and joy in them when they are older.

Proverbs 23:24  (NKJ)

24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him.

Wise and righteous children are not born that way - they are shaped by wise and loving parents who will raise them God’s way. 

The first thing you must do, as a parent, is to love your kids with all your heart with an unconditional love. The love you show them should not be dependant on the way they are or the way they behave, but just because you love them. They must know that you still love them no matter what they do or say. That is the way God loves us and we are God’s representatives to our children.

The second thing that you must remember is that you must be the person you want your kids to be. Children are born imitators. They act just like we do. Don’t expect your kids to do the right thing if you are doing the wrong thing. No matter how many times you tell them what to do and how to do it, they are going to follow you and do what you are doing. So set a good example, because they are going to be just like you.     

The third thing you must do is to never correct them in anger. Correction is done for their benefit, to equip them to live as contributing members of society. If we are angry then the focus is on us and not on them. The issue is their bad behavior and not our feelings about it. They are not being corrected because we are angry, but because they are wrong. And they need to receive correction in a spirit of repentance.

The fourth thing is that the “punishment” should fit the “crime”. Don’t over or under discipline the child. Lies and a rebellious attitude are serious problems and should be dealt with accordingly. Also, silly mistakes are not the same as deliberate sin. Don’t be severe on the child when they have only made a mistake.

The fifth thing is that you should make sure that they repent of their sin, because it is sin in God’s eyes. They need to see you allowing the Word of God to be the final authority in your life and they need to be taught to govern their lives by the Word and the Spirit of God. The Word is the answer to all of life’s situations and our children need to see us allowing God to work in our lives and allowing Him to correct and discipline us. And then they will receive correction and direction from us. When children are spanked or corrected and do not repent, they become resentful and later they become rebellious.

Always reassure them that you love them. Make sure you hug them and that they hug you back and display a forgiving attitude toward you for being the one who brought the correction. Remember God’s Word always works!