In this ever-increasing age of ungodly TV programs and secular humanist education, what is a Christian parent to do?
Kids hear the gospel of evolution from the classrooms every day and from the TV shows almost all the time. The ways of the world are being instilled in your child, whether you like it or not. There are many do’s for the Christian parent to follow. The best parenting manual is the book of Proverbs. This is the best parenting manual you will ever read.
The following are basic principles taken from the Book of Proverbs and should be followed to insure your home is managed in the proper way:
Proverbs 6:20 “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”
Live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Love the Lord. Your love for Jesus will put a desire in your child to do the same. Set a good example.
Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”
Children learn behavior from their parents. Children watch their parents. Children repeat what their parents say and do. Children learn how to socialize by engaging in conversations within the family unit.
Tell them about Jesus. Show them the love of Jesus. Teach them to pray to their Heavenly Father in the mighty name of Jesus.
Teach them about sin and how it displeases the Lord. Tell them about God’s forgiveness. Tell them your testimony and how Jesus saved you from your sins. Tell them about what God has done for you. Tell them how Jesus loves them so very much and how He died for them and rose again.
Plant Bible verses within their hearts every day of their life without making it pushy. Add a verse within conversations. When they complain about a bully at school, you can, within the conversation, quote them the verse that applies to the situation. Teach them about God’s forgiveness.
2Tim 3:15 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Instill Biblical values. Children are constantly hearing the world’s point of view. They must be taught God’s point of view. They must feel the love of Jesus from you. Live the life…don’t be a hypocrite.
Pray with them. Pray for their friends and teachers. Pray for the bullies at school.
Teach your children how to effectively pray and when to pray. My mother would tell me; “Pray before you leave the school bus and also before your test. The Lord will help you, sweetheart. The Lord loves you so very much. I will be praying for you today.” Children need to be taught the Word of God. If they don’t learn Biblical principles from you, they will learn the worldly principles from someone else.
Shut the TV off and do Bible studies together.
Titus 2:12 “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
Eph 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
When you are displeased with a certain program on TV, explain why the program is wrong. Teach your child to cling to the good and abhor the bad. Teach them the things that displease the Lord and why they should want to do things pleasing in God’s sight.
Discuss at dinner how their day went at school. Listen to their stories.
Notice them. Acknowledge them. Be attentive to their problems and struggles.
If they are pulling away from you and are quiet about their problems, seek them out. Children desire attention and want to feel that they are appreciated and loved. They want to be noticed.
Look in their eyes when you talk with them. Listen to them. Be a good listener. Forget your worries for the moment and concentrate only on them. Notice when they’re acting differently.
Laugh at their jokes. Relate to them. If you cannot relate to them, ask the Lord to teach you how to relate to them so that you can be “cool” in their book.
Respect them and treasure them. They are your gift from the Lord. They are little people with feelings and dreams.
Use your ears more than your mouth. Let them tell you how they feel.
Be flexible when needed.
Be excited when you see them. Get off the phone when your children come home from school. Talk to them instead of your girlfriends when they get home. This gives them assurance that you value them and want to spend time with them. Give them your undivided attention. Be understanding when they have a difficult day. Make suggestions that might better improve their situation. Suggest prayer and pray with them that God will help them to be the best person they can be. Always include yourself in the prayer.
Thank them. Point out what you like about them. Encourage them. Tell them how special they are in God’s eyes.
Tell them how pleased you are of them. Tell them how much you like being with them.
Let them make mistakes. Help them to learn from those mistakes. Ask them what they have learned. Invest your time in them.
Be attentive to them when they’re sick. Pamper them. Let them know that they are loved. Tell them that God loves them so very much and they are so special in God’s eyes.
Proverbs 13:1 “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.”
When they seek your counsel, set the example and pray with them that the Lord will show you what to do. A child who sees his parent reliant upon God will also follow in the same footsteps.
Proverbs 4:1 “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.”
Proverbs 19:18 “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”
Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
When they are misbehaving, they must be corrected and/or disciplined. Correction, discipline and understanding go together. You cannot correct a child without explaining, in love, why they are receiving correction and/or discipline. The sarcastic phrase, “because I said so” is not the way to correct your child. It is the phrase of the world but should not be the phrase in the Christian home. Children question such phrases and they do not understand why what they did was wrong. Suggest better behaviors when they act out. Explain why it is displeasing to you so they may better understand why they are being corrected.
Proverbs 29:17 “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”
Deal with problems and conflicts while they are still small. Do not reward a child who is throwing a temper tantrum. If they are screaming and crying, they have to know that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated nor rewarded. They need to know that this sort of behavior displeases you and it displeases God.
Everyday is a training session. Everyday, you give them something they will use for the rest of their lives.
Psalm 103:13 “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.”
In order to teach them humility, you must show by example. Admit when you make a mistake. Tell them how you should have done things better or explain why it was a mistake. The more you talk to your child about these things, the less they will want to repeat your mistake. They will learn right along with you.
Teach them responsibility. Give them tasks or chores to do around the house.
Teach them accountability. They must stand accountable for their own actions.
Include them in decision-making. Ask their opinions. Welcome their suggestions. If you are buying a house, take them along. Include them in the process so that they will better understand how things work in the real world.
Pray with them before dropping them off at school events. Pray that the Lord will help them to do their very best. Show up at their concerts, games and events. Don’t criticize them if they miss the basket or if they strike out. Praise them when they do well. Encourage them in all that they do. Expect their best; don’t expect perfection. Support them. Compliment them. Give God the glory for the things that they do. Teach them according to Philippians 4:13.
Tell them what you expect of them.
Proverbs 17:6 “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”
Always be truthful and sincere. Integrity is taught to your children by you walking in integrity, as the example.
Proverbs 20:7 “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”
Be a person of your word. Keep the promises you make.
Know their interests. Take an interest in the things they find important. Clip magazine pictures or articles that interest them. Share their excitement. Contribute to their collections and hobbies. Join in their adventures. Meet their friends. Meet their friend’s parents.
Nurture them with good food, good words and good fun. Tell them that they are the wonderful treasure that God has blessed you with. Make time to be with them.
Notice when they grow. Help them mature into fine adults by giving them good biblical instruction. You can better prepare them for life by teaching them godly principles and the more comfortable they will be out in the real world.
Titus 2:4 “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”
When you drop them off at their friend’s house to play, wave and honk when you drive by them as you leave. Smile and laugh with them.
Teach them manners. Tell them why manners are important. Include them in conversations. This is very important because children develop their social skills by interacting at home.
Instill truth in them. Believe what they say. Be rational. NEVER YELL AT THEM FOR TELLING YOU THE TRUTH. Be understanding. You have to remember, they are being very brave in telling you the awful truth and keep this in mind. Do not discourage them from telling you the truth in the future by yelling and screaming at them. If you do this, they will begin to lie to you to avoid punishment. Instead, pray for understanding. Tell them that you appreciate them fessing up and admitting the truth. Tell them that you are displeased with what they have done but are very pleased in the fact that they told you the truth. Many good parents have said, “If you come to me with the truth, you will not be punished. But if you lie and when I find out about it later, you will be punished. It is better to tell the truth from the very beginning.”
Make sure you let them know that your love for them is unconditional. This they will feel from you by your words but especially by your actions. Love them no matter what.
1John 3:18 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
Be CONSISTENT. THIS IS THE KEY!!!
We all reap what we sow. Sow the seeds of love and you will reap them.
2Tim 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
Ask the Lord to help you to be the best godly parent that you can be. The Lord can enable you to teach your children His ways. He will lead them into His paths.