Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
God wants us to raise our children with the love and teachings of Jesus. God has given parents the responsibility of developing and nurturing the human soul (mind, will and emotions). We are given the task of developing the mind (with godly thoughts), the will (in submission to the will of God) and the emotions (controlled by the fruit of the Spirit) of a child in a God-honoring environment.
The greatest role model a child will ever have is a parent of the same gender. And the best example of cross-gender interaction will come from the parent of their opposite sex. Therefore, both Mom and Dad need to be disciples of Christ to raise their children right.
Researchers believe between the ages of two to three years old, a child begins to develop their personality and by seven years old most children have acquired their moral compass and personality that they will keep for the rest of their life. That is why there is no greater job on this planet than that of being a godly parent; what the child becomes and the role they will play in society depends on it.
With this great God-given responsibility in mind, Jesus said concerning parenting in Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Basically, Jesus was saying that it would be better to kill yourself than to harm a child. Please don’t think Jesus is advocating suicide, even for those who have been bad parents. God can forgive you. However, Jesus wants us to know how important being a parent is.
Here are some great ways to insure your children are raised in the ways of God; (1) Model genuine Christian love in the home- discipleship starts with the parents. (2) As soon as your children can talk, teach them to pray. (3) Give them consistent and compassionate discipline so they can learn right from wrong. (4) Always keep them involved in the church’s children’s ministries- don’t let school, other activities or sports take its place.
(5) Have a time of family prayer and study of God’s Word every day. (6) Make family meals a priority as much as possible. (7) Demonstrate forgiveness and compassion by letting them know when you make mistakes. (8) Once they can read teach them to read the Bible daily. (9) Help them to love and treat others as they would want to be treated. (10) Encourage their salvation, baptism and church involvement, as they get older. (11) Stay involved in their school, hobbies and friends. (12) Pray for them and guard them from making bad choices, placing things above God and having the wrong friends.
Remember, if we expect our children to honor us as their parents, then let us live honorable lives in front of them. Billy Sunday said, “Not to walk in the straight and narrow way yourself, is to give the devil the biggest kind of a chance to get our children!” Guard your children with your love for God, faithfulness to His Word and obedience to all His commands.
- Repent if you have not raised your children right in the eyes of God.
- Study God’s Word and raise your children with the fear and admonition (teaching) of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
- Ask God daily in prayer to bless and protect them, to comfort and love them and fulfill His purpose in their lives.