A VISION FOR PARENTING
"Train up a children in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it"
What kind of children does God want us to raise for Him in this world? God gives us His criteria in His Holy Word.
1. Children who know the Holy Scriptures
2 Timothy 3:15 says, "And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures." This is not talking about an older child but a very young child. The word for child is brephos and is used of a babe in the womb, a babe that is just born, and a little child. From the womb and birth we begin reading the Scriptures to our children, for our children must not know about the Scriptures, but they must KNOW them. It grieves my heart that many Christian young people today know more about music and movie stars than they do of God's Word. God wants us and our children to KNOW His words so well that they are not only in their heart, but in their mouth (Isaiah 59:21).
How much of God's Word do your children know in their hearts, minds, mouths, and experience?
2. Children who are prepared for Salvation
The sooner our children come to know Christ as their Savior and Lord the better. Satan vies for the souls of our children. We want God to have their lives from an early age. Children are very aware of God and if the Scriptures are daily imparted into their lives, their hearts will be open and ready to receive Christ. Children can have a real encounter with God at the young ages of three, four, and five years of age. Let's read 2 Timothy 3:15 again, "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."
3. Children who keep the way of the Lord
God does not tell us to raise children in the ways of the world, but in the ways of the Lord. The ways of the Lord are very different from the ways of the world. We will be a different kind of family. Genesis 18:19 says, "For I know him (Abraham), that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord." Do you notice that God said that Abraham would "command" his children after him. He didn't suggest they walk in God's ways. He didn't hope they would walk in God's ways. He commanded them to walk in God's ways. The word "keep" is shamar and means "to guard, watch, and protect." We must train children who not only adhere to God's Words, but who will stand up for the truth, protect it, and guard it.
4. Children who do Justice and Judgment
There are so few who understand the meaning of justice and judgment today. These values cannot be treated lightly. They are attributes of God and He wants to reveal these attributes through His people to bring His blessing upon the earth. He wants to reveal them through parents to their children. Children must understand that there are consequences for sin and disobedience. They must learn to discern how God feels about evil and what to do about it for there is only heartache when justice and judgment are relinquished. Genesis 18:19 God says that Abraham will "command" his children to "do justice and judgment." Once again, they didn't only know about justice and judgment. They walked in it!
5. Children who are wise
Ecclesiastes 4:13 says, "Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king." That means we will teach our children how to walk in the fear of the Lord for "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). And how will they learn the fear of the Lord? By being filled with God's Word (Psalm 19:7-10 and 2 Timothy 3:15).
6. Children who walk in the fear of the Lord
Psalm 34;11 says, "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord."
The phrase, "I will teach" is lamad in the Hebrew and means “to cause to learn, train, educate.” We are not faithfully teaching our children unless we teach them what it means to walk in the fear of the Lord. This is the foundation of their education which is more important than any other curriculum. The fear of the Lord teaches them how to keep pure in the midst of wickedness, how to depart from evil, and walk in the way of life. The fear of the Lord is a "fountain of life" that will prolong their days and keep them from harm. Proverbs 19:23 NLT says, "Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm."
7. Children who are trained to be princes
We belong to a royal kingdom. Our God is King of kings and Lord of lords. Therefore, we must train our sons to walk in a princely manner and our daughters to be princesses. Psalm 45:16 says, "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth." This raises our vision for training our children. We are not satisfied with the status quo of this world. We are preparing them to represent a heavenly kingdom, a royal kingdom, the kingdom of God. We have different standards, different principles, and a different workbook, the Holy Word of God. May God anoint and help us, even in the midst of an evil world, to raise children who have the stamp of the God's kingdom upon them
"Oh God, I feel so inadequate for this huge task of training the children you have given to me. Please anoint me mightily with your wisdom and understanding to train them according to your ways, not the ways of the world. Amen."
I have a vision for my children that goes beyond this world.
To be continued.