Our inspiration for the following comes from God who used the following article to bring it to our attention
We are not going to address that article as our opinion of her has not changed since we spent 2 articles addressing her words. That article is also too general and does not pinpoint exactly which church and cultural stereotypes she is avoiding or condemns.Her focus puts her off track and opens herself up to false teaching etc. But we have not addressed the subject of raising godly children before.
We are not going to be able to get to all the scripture passages that help parents raise godly children. We hope that parents will see what we are saying and explore the bible for other passages of scriptures which will help them deal with their children’s questions, issues andproblems. Parents need to let God direct them to the right passages, then follow the Holy Spirit to the truth and understand how that truth apples. Then they need to learn, some of them, how to communicate that truth to their children.
Finally, they need to aoid one of the biggest enemies of parenting- hypocrisy. God is not a do as I say not as I do God. He practices what he tells us to do. Parents must do the same. There is no particular order to the list of items we address here.
Probably one of the best pieces of parenting advice comes from Dr. Mark Lee who was associated with Dallas Theological Seminary in the last century. In one of his lectures or extension classes we attended, he told the story about his teenage son who wanted to hang out with some non-christian boys. We all know that teenagers sometimes do the opposite of what their parents say. You tell them not to hang out with certain people, the next thing you know they are hanging out with them.
Dr. Lee must have considered that when he gave his instructions to his son. He told him that it was okay for his son to hang out with the boys, AS LONG AS he was an influence on them and they were not an influence on him. Peer pressure is a strong influential force but if given the right advice, your children can overcome it and not lose their faith. The result of that advice was the boy listened to his father and his non-Christian teenage friends eventually became Christian.
The right advice given in the right way can save years of heartache.
A). The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing but young children do not know how to do that. They need to be taught how to pray correctly, understand what Jesus meant by his words in the Lord’s prayer and so on. Teaching a children how to pray may be a lifesaver when you cannot be there to help them through their difficulties. Children need to learn how to rely on God and bring their requests to him properly.
They also need to be taught the difference between being selfish and asking the right way for their needs, etc.
B). Parents need to pray correctly for their chidren. Again, not selfish prayers but prayers that go hand in hand with their decision to dedicate their child to God. God takes those dedications seriously and they are not an insurance policy keeping them from hell. Then children should hear their parents pray for them. This should be done honestly. Parents should not be saying to each other- here come the kids let’s start praying for them. No the prayers of the parents should be honest and filled with real attitudes about their chidren’s lives.
One way to coommuncate care for one’schildren is to pray for them constantly. They face te same struggles as their parents and are away from home a lot these days. They need a lot of prayer.
The Bible tells us to love God with all of our hearts souls and minds and to love others as ourselves and as Jesus loved us. But again children cannot always do that on their own. They need to be taught the correct meaning of the word love. They need to be taught how God defines the word. 1 Cor. 13 plays a role here as it defines love as Jesus lived it. The secular world and most churches do not know how to love correctly. Parents need to look to God to help them learn, understand and practice real love.
While love includes encouragement, support and acceptance, it also brings the truth, honesty, sound doctrine and does not leave people in their sins. Love also means putting God ahead of loved ones and personal desires. It looks to be fair, just and merciful when needed. It looks to do right and avoid wrong and again, these actions are as God defines them not other humans or the secular part of this world.
Love also does not compromise with the unchurch world. It doesn’t change its message just to appease those who do not want to follow God and his ways.
Deut. is full of verses recording God’s instructions to his people. They were to teach their children the ways of God, his instructions, and commands. The reason for this was for the children to learn to fear God. Not be afraid of him but respect and follow his ways. The New Testament also tells parents to teach their children. 1 Tim. tells us to study. God does not want ignorant followers who refuse to grow up. He needs knowledgeable people filled with the truth to do his work for him.
Whether you send your children to a public school or not is not the issue here. Parents can teach their children at all times and God says to do that in Deut. We do not leave a child’s education up to the blind, deceived and lost world. The right education is important if a parent does not want their children to lose their faith when they get older and exposed to different views.
It means teaching the Book of Genesis correctly and answering your children’s questions properly, with godly answers and the truth. In other words parents, you need to know the Bible better and ask God for help to understand his words so you can answer your children’s questions correctly. If you love your children you do not leave them vulnerable to the secular world or evil to pluck them away.
Then parents need to teach their children the difference between true and false teaching. To put it simply, false teaching leads people away from the truth and encourages people to disobey God.
The Bible tells us that to obey is better than sacrifice. To have godly children they need to be taught how to obey correctly. Even if it means losing something they value. God values obedience and Jesus said if you love me keep my commandments. We cannot stress this enough as the world and the church have enough problems from those who refuse to obey God correctly.
Obedience is also key to evangelism. No one can expect unbelievers to take God and his word seriously if his own followers do not. Disobedience is one of the greatest stumbling blocks to successful evangelism and discipleship. God rewards the obedient and as we have seen throughout the OT & NT he punishes those who lie, steal, murder and disobey.
The Bible tells us to
- Rid yourself of all malice, deceit hypocrisy, envy…”
- “Desire pure spiritual milk…that you may grow…”
- “Walk in the light as he is in the light…
A godly child should have a godly character, one that is guided by truth, honesty, integrity and fueled by the right desires. Also, a godly child avoids sin, does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. He and she are also given wise counsel by their parents. They get good advice on how to live and respond to different situations, events and tragedies.
There are a lot of verses that pertain to this point including the descriptions of the fruits of the Spirit.
There are a lot of minor issues that a godly child does and does not do. They recognize that the body is God’s temple and they do not mark it up with tattoos or pollute it with the wrong food and drink. They do not cross dress or encourage others to do so. This may seem like it is bowing to stereotypes but one must remember that God was the first to say for boys not to wear women’s clothes and girls not to wear men’s clothing.
The right clothes go on the right gender’s body. Before attacking stereotypes one must make sure God did not institute that particular aspect of adornment or behavior. parents are not to raise their children in a way that allows false teaching to lead them to destruction. IN other words when a boy child says things like, I like boys, or a girl child says I am a boy, it does not mean they are expressing an alternative sexual preference or that they are identifying their true gender identity.
They are too young to know such things and need to be properly guided away from such thinking. Love does not allow a child to pursue sin. The secular world will get upset but they do not love your child.
Then finally, for children to properly grasp what a godly life is, they need to be taught correctly about persecution. They need to be made aware that those who follow Jesus will suffer in some way. Then they need to be taught how to turn the other cheek, pray for those that persecute them and then finally teach the children how to return good for evil.
A godly child obeys God even when things are not going their way. They learn how to handle the hurt and the pain without sinning.
All of this is done to the glory of God.