A VISION FOR PARENTING
"He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity"
(1 Timothy 3:4 NLT).
We continue to find out what kind of children God wants us to raise up for Him. God doesn't leave us without a vision. He shows us very clearly in His Word how He wants us to train them.
8. Children who Obey and Honor their Parents
This command is given in the Ten Commandments but reiterated again in the New Testament (Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:3; Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20 and 1 Timothy 3:12). Children learn to submit to God the Father by learning to submit to and obey their parents. Children prepare for their future marriage by learning to submit to their parents' authority. A child who does not learn to obey in his parents' home will be learning how to destroy his own marriage later on. Children learn how act in their employment and be successful in life by obeying their parents. Childhood is training ground for adulthood.
If we as parents do not teach our children to obey, we are not preparing them to be successful in life. God sees their response to us as their response to Him. We must be faithful to teach them the godly principles of obedience and honor. If a child does not learn these principles in childhood he will destroy relationships throughout his or her life.
9. Children Who are Sharpened and Polished Arrows
We are familiar with Psalm 127:3 where God calls our children "arrows." Arrows are of no worth unless they are sharpened, polished, and made ready to hit the mark. They can't be crooked. They can't be blunt. An arrow is meant to be a deadly weapon against the enemy. Therefore, we are reminded that we have a big task on our hands as we patiently, faithfully, and diligently prepare the arrows God has given us to be effective arrows for His kingdom.
It is not enough to feed and clothe our children. To prepare them to be deadly arrows is a full-time task. It takes much prayer, wisdom, and continuous on the job training. I know the task seems more than you can handle. It is true, we are not able to do it in our own strength. Cry out to God. He is right with you to help you, give you wisdom, and empower you for the job.
10. Children Who Know How to Contend for the Faith
Psalm 127:3-4 tells us that we are to train our arrows to speak. In fact, it says they are to "speak with the enemies in the gate." We train them to not only know the truth, but speak the truth. We teach them how to speak the truth in the gates of the city where it will make a difference in the nation.
11. Children Who are Like Green Olive Shoots
God describes our children as "olive plants" in Psalm 128:3. The children of Israel couldn't live without olives. Even today, olive groves grow everywhere in Israel. The olive speaks of blessing, fruitfulness, and usefulness. But, they have to be cultivated, or they will deteriorate and grow wild. Do you notice where we do much of the cultivating? Around the dinner table. The Living Bible translation of this Scripture says, "And look at all those children! There they sit around the dinner table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees. God's reward to those who reverence and trust him."
At the meal table we have a great opportunity to establish positive and sweet family relationships, speak into their lives, and most of all to nurture their spirit as we daily read and discuss God's Word with them.
12. Children Who are Signs and Wonders for God
Isaiah 8:18 says, "Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion." As we encourage our children to walk in the ways of the Lord and yield to Him, He will use them to show forth His power, healing, truth, and miracles to people around. They will be a sign for Him. The word also means "a flag, beacon, miracle, evidence."
They will also be a "wonder." This word is also translated as "miracle or sign." They can show forth the power and miracles of God, but it can also have a negative meaning in that God can use them to be a warning to people. The NLT says, "I and the children the Lord has given me serve as signs and warnings..."
May God pour out His Holy Spirit upon you as you disciple your children for God. What an awesome task God has given you.
"Oh Father, please help me to have a submissive heart toward my husband and toward you, for I know that I teach my children by my example, even more than the words I say. Amen."
I have the awesome privilege of filling my home with signs and wonders!
To be continued.