My dear friend,
God commands parents to train up their children in the way of the Lord.
God commands parents to educate their children in righteousness.
Clearly, the Bible declares it is the solemn responsibility of parents to teach their children Biblical truths to lead them in the paths of righteousness. Too many parents shirk their responsibility and expect Christian schools, Sunday schools, and other institutions to carry the full burden of training their children. But this is not Biblical…
these are the commandments,
the Lord your God commanded to teach you,
ye might do them in the land
ye go to possess it:
thou mightest fear the Lord thy God,
keep all his statutes and his commandments,
I command thee,
and thy son, and thy son’s son,
the days of thy life;
that thy days may be prolonged.
therefore, O Israel,
observe to do it;
it may be well with thee,
that ye may increase mightily,
the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee,
the land that floweth with milk and honey.
Lord our God is one Lord:
thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,
with all thy soul,
with all thy might.
I command thee this day,
be in thine heart:
thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
when thou walkest by the way,
when thou liest down,
when thou risest up.
thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand,
they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house,
on thy gates.
The Reverend D. Davies comments:
LOVE CONSTRUCTS ITS WHOLE LIFE ON THE MODEL OF GOD’S LAW.
The hand will become the instrument of righteousness.
On it will be written God’s Word, viz. industry, honesty,
restraint, generous kindness, helpfulness.
God’s Word will be our ornament.
Instead of gold and jewels upon the forehead, “our adornment will
be” modesty, chastity, cheerfulness, moral beauty.
God’s Name will be indelibly inscribed upon our foreheads. Our domestic affairs will be ordered by the Divine will.
We shall write his Word on the posts of our houses.
Every home in which love dwells will be a temple.
Order, active piety, frugality, peace, mutual service, will be the
principles conspicuous in godly homes.
And our municipal and political life will be conducted on the same
line of obedience. Legislation,
justice, taxation, commerce, literature, art, will be consecrated to
God’s glory. As the
flowers of earth send their fragrance heavenward, so from every act of
ours a fragrance of homage should ascend to God.
Pulpit Commentary, v.
6 (Deuteronomy), p. 128,129.
Oh, that homes would be filled with the fragrance of godliness!
Oh, that parents would give their children a pious home education that will be passed on from generation to generation!
Timothy’s salvation was the result of faith passed on through three generations. Paul remembers and gives thanks for Timothy’s godly heritage…
I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,
dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois,
thy mother Eunice;
I am persuaded that in thee also.
2 Timothy 1:5
Righteousness is a moral inheritance that must be passed from parents to children.
Training God’s Children
Our children do not belong to us; they are God’s children to be trained for Him. And we must train them in holiness and righteousness. The Reverend C. Clemance explains:
the home, our God looks to the parent to give it its character, tone, and
influence. A child’s religious faith is, in a high and holy sense, to
be chosen for him by anticipation, by those who we “in Christ before”
him…By a variety of ways, the parent is to see his child’s spirit
early saturated with the truths of God. (1) By talking of them, in the
house and out of it (ver.7). (2) By exhibiting them, not only in the
literal sense, but in a higher spiritual one.
(3) By writing them. Thus
the child is from the first to be regarded as God’s child, to be
trained for him. He is to receive God’s Word through the avenues of eye,
ear, intellect, heart. Divine
truth is to be ever before him, night and day, indoors and out.
Those who gave him birth and who love him best, are to mould his
young life for God; he is to grow up as the Lord’s rightful possession,
with the view of his afterwards saying, in the spirit of devout surrender,
“I am the Lord’s!” (Isa. xliv. 5).
Pulpit Commentary, v.
6 (Deuteronomy), p. 123.
Children are the Lord’s rightful possession. They are His children, therefore, we must train them up in holy thinking and holy living.
But America has become a nation of unholy thinking and unholy living. False Christians are childish and desperately try to appear “cool” and “awesome.” They fail to mature spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. Put another way, they fail to mature past their teen years. Therefore, they are not parents to their children; they are peers who share common interests with their children. For example, they may listen to rock music together and go to movies, regardless of the language or content. And “cool” parents get tattoos, body piercing, punk or edgy haircuts, and practice other immature worldliness.
And false Christians deny that their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. They indulge in hedonistic pleasures: booze, pornography, cigarettes, marijuana, and other sins that desecrate the temple of the Holy Spirit. Oh, yes, they babble on and on and on about how much they love God, but their lives prove their words are lies. They say they love God, but secretly hate His Law and openly rebel against His commands.
True Christian parents teach God's children holy thinking and holy living.
A Blessed Home
Parents must diligently
instruct children in the way of the Lord.
Parents must diligently instruct children in the way of the Lord.God honored Abraham for his godly household…
I know him,
he will command his children and his household after him,
they shall keep the way of the Lord,
do justice and judgment;
the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which
hath spoken of him.
Of course, the Old Testament admonitions for child training are echoed in the New Testament:
that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures,
are able to make thee wise unto salvation
faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:15
Naturally, if parents are to teach their children to love God, they must genuinely love Him. And they express this true love by daily giving praise and thanks to Him, talking about the Truth of the Law, bearing the fruits of the Spirit, and studying continually the Word.
Granted, teaching Biblical truths takes time. But raising children in the way of the Lord takes wisdom and knowledge. And you cannot gain wisdom and knowledge without diligently studying the Scriptures.
Blessed is the home where
parents diligently seek the Scriptures daily to increase in wisdom and
Blessed is the home where parents diligently seek the Scriptures daily to increase in wisdom and knowledge.
Rule Well His Own House
Christians cry out for a righteous nation, but a nation is only as good as its homes. We cannot have a righteous nation without first having righteous homes. And God has entrusted parents with godly family government. Children must first learn obedience to family government. Anarchy and misrule in the domestic circle is the forerunner of anarchy and misrule in the State. A home without order or discipline and that allows disobedience and impudence harms not only the family, but also the community and nation. More important, children who do not obey their earthly father will not obey their heavenly Father.
Indeed, parents who fail to rule their households well must not be given positions of authority in the Church.
that ruleth well his own house,
his children in subjection with all gravity;
if a man know not how to rule his own house,
shall he take care of the church of God?)
1 Timothy 3:4,5
Likewise, parents who fail to rule their household well must not be given positions of authority in schools. Needless to say, if they do not know how to rule their own household, they will not know how to rule the classroom.
Sadly, foolish parents choose to ignore and excuse their child’s disobedience rather than take the time to correct and instruct him. Children are allowed to be impudent and rebellious. However, God holds parents accountable for not restraining wicked children. For example, God reproved Eli because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not reprove them.
that day I will perform against Eli all things
I have spoken concerning his house:
I begin, I will also make an end.
For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever
the iniquity which he knoweth;
his sons made themselves vile,
he restrained them not.
1 Samuel 3:12, 13
Matthew Henry comments:
short, the iniquity was this: His sons made themselves vile, and he
restrained them not. Or,
as it is in the Hebrew, he frowned not upon them. If he did show
his dislike of their wicked courses, yet not to that degree that he ought
to have done: he did reprove them, but he did not punish them, for the
mischief they did, nor deprive them of their power to do mischief, which
as a father, high priest, and judge, he might have done.
Discipline is for the good of the child. God chastens His children; therefore, at times, He does not spare His rod. He must chasten sin for the correction of the sinner. Just as our heavenly Father chastens us out of love, parents who truly love their children will chasten them.
many as I love,
rebuke and chasten:
that spareth his rod hateth his son:
he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
This Scripture does not necessarily mean corporal punishment. The rod is also a symbol of authority for punishment, and the punishment must be carefully proportioned to the offense. Lighter offenses, such as carelessness, are corrected by lighter rebukes. More serious offences, such as lying, insolence, stealing, are corrected with more serious measures.
Matthew Henry comments:
Those really hate their children, though they pretend to be fond of them, that do not keep them under a strict discipline, and by all proper methods, severe ones when gentle ones will not serve, make them sensible of their faults and afraid of offending. They abandon them to their worst enemy, to the most dangerous disease, and therefore hate them. Let this reconcile children to the correction their good parents give them; it is from love, and for their good, Heb. 12:7-9.
Undeniably, parents who allow children to have their way and give in to their fits and tantrums spoil them for life: it ruins their character. The undisciplined child becomes self-centered and incapable of controlling his spirit, and disregards all lawful authority. Impudent and rebellious children bring shame on the parents.
rod and reproof give wisdom:
but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
The Reverend W. J. Deane explains, “A child allowed to do as he likes, undisciplined – spoiled, as we call it – is a shame to his mother, whose weakness has led to this want of restraint, fond love degenerating into over-indulgence.”
Wise Woman Builds Her House
wise woman buildeth her house:
but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
A wise mother is a great blessing to her family.
A foolish mother is a great curse to her family.
A foolish woman ruins her family materially and morally. Her foolish fancies ruin her household. She fancies books of psycho-babble, pseudo-Christianity, and other foolish wisdom; and prides herself on worldly knowledge.
But a wise woman diligently builds her house. She gains wisdom and knowledge for training her children by diligently studying and meditating on God's Word. The Reverend C. Clemance explains the importance of the Bible in the home:
The Bible is preeminently a family Book. Israel’s national life was supposed to find its centres of strength and permanence in godly homes. It would not be easy to find words which should overrate the importance of such a principle as this. That a young nation at the outset of its existence have this laid down as a first law of life: “The land will be as its homes are;” is an indication of the Divine guidance which was vouchsafed to him on whom, under God, the foundation of its national life depended…Parental life holds a great trust in charge, to be committed to those who shall come after; that though one generation passeth away and another cometh, there may be no break in the continuity of holy thinking and holy living, from age to age.
The Pulpit Commentary, v. 6 (Deuteronomy), p.125.
The wise woman passes on to her children Biblical truths for holy thinking and holy living. And one of these truths is obedience; therefore, the wise woman diligently disciplines her children. Obedience brings blessings to the sanctified home: honour and peace.
The glory of the Lord shines in the sanctified home.
Righteousness is a Moral Inheritance
God declares that the home is the center for passing on Biblical truths to the next generation. Righteousness is a moral inheritance that must be passed from parents to children.
Our children do not belong to us; they are God’s children to be trained for Him. And we must train them in holiness and righteousness.
If we desire God’s blessings on our home, we must be committed to passing on to His children holy thinking and holy living.
Grace and peace,
Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.