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“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.“-Ephe 6:4
The last two articles have been on the first part of the above verse but today our focus will be on the highlighted verse(2nd sentence).
HOW PARENTS CAN BRING THEIR CHILDREN UP WITH CHRISTIAN DISCIPLINE AND INSTRUCTIONS
1)Parents should be the first teachers of God’s words to their children:At a very early age,children’s minds are tabula rasa(minds without preconceived ideas,minds not yet affected by experience or any impressions).They are like open,plain book like this:
Parents have a great responsibility in ingraining God’s words on these innocent/plain minds while they are still young.
Fathers,you are the head of the house,teach Godly values to your children from the Scriptures.Let your children first hear about Christ from you.You don’t need to be a Pastor before you can impart Godly knowledge on your children.Their minds are still very receptive such that you don’t need much theological knowledge to teach them.
For I know him, that he will command his sons and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and judgment, that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him.–Gen 18:19
God could trust Abraham to command His children.Can God trust you? Being a Father goes beyond paying school fees or taking children out on weekends for shopping.Feed them with God’s ordinances from the early age the way Timothy was taught:
From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.-2Tim 3:15(Berean Study Bible)
Since childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make you wise enough to have faith in Christ Jesus and be saved. (ESV)
When do you think is the age of infancy?
Infancy is from birth to 2 years old
While early childhood is from 3 to 8 years old
And middle childhood is from 9 to 11 years old
It means Timothy probably began learning the Scriptures around age 2!
2)By modelling what you teach/say: This is very fundamental.Children watch their parents closely.They want to see if there are consistencies in what Daddy says and what he does.For example:
Daddy says his two children(A and B) should not fight each other but A and B usually see Daddy beating Mummy mercilessly and sometimes they would be the ones pulling Mummy away from Daddy’s punches!
Mummy says A should not use abusive words against his sister B ,but A usually hears it when Mummy curses her customers who don’t pay her on time.
“If you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth–
You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?” Romans 2:19-22
Children see their parents as role models so if they want to see their children grow up in Godly ways,they should model such lifestyles.Inconsistencies between what they say and what they do leave the children confused.
3)Bringing your children to public worship/children chapel: This can further reemphasize whatever they must have learnt at home.It is even better if the church you attend has good facility and personnel for children.It is not ideal for children to be roaming around the church premises while their parents are inside the church.Personally,attending children’s chapel gave me a solid foundation about christianity.I spent virtually all my childhood Sundays there.But these days,many children stay in adult church learning little or nothing or some will just be playing or running outside the church.
This is a clarion call to church leaders to pay attention to these children.The children you think are too small today will soon be the Bishops and Pastors of these churches,but if their foundation is weak now,what will they teach their generation?
4)Keeping them from bad company: This can be done effectively by knowing the friends of your children.
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character.”-1Cor 15:33
“Don’t fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you”(CEV)
Bad friends can have negative influence on the character of some godly children.Therefore,parents should be aware of the company their children keep and do the needful by quickly separating their children from such rogues.
5)Praying for your children: I don’t know how I can emphasize this point more than this because it is the most important tip so far.Wake up in the night,lay your hands on your children,bless them and speak words of God into their lives.Before they go out in the morning,send them forth with prayers.Prayers work far better than those horse whips and canes.Even for the children that are already wayward,don’t give up on them.One day,they will come to their senses like the prodigal son.
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”-James 5:16b(NLT)
…And that is a wrap!
See you on Saturday for a fresh topic…