TRAINING CHILDREN TO SPEAK
Psalm 127:4-5, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Many times we forget the purpose of our parenting, don’t we? We plod along from day to day with what has to be done and we don’t see the future picture. It is good to come back to the Word of God and be reminded of what we are supposed to be doing.
God talks of our children in the context of war. This life is a battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. We are raising our children to be warriors for God’s kingdom, to know how to face the battle and to stand strong for God.
Recently, I noticed something important in our above Scripture. We are training our children to speak! Did you notice that? We are to raise children who will speak with the enemies in the gates. In Bible times, the gates of the city were more than an entrance way. They were the busiest place in the city. It was here that the elders sat to rule and direct the affairs of the city. It was here the judges and officers judged the daily matters of the people. It was at the gates the soldiers stood sentinel to guard and protect the city.
And this is where God wants our children to speak--in the important places of the city, the state and the nation. He wants us to raise children who will be able to proclaim His truth in the gates—in the high places where decisions and laws are made. We are living in an era where “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter.” (Isaiah 59:14-15) In this hour of history, we need to raise children who know more than a few Sunday school stories, but children who understand God’s truth, who have discernment and know how to execute justice. We need to raise children who are not afraid to speak God’s truth, even in the face of opposition and persecution. The psalmist said, “I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.” (Psalm 119:46) I love the Knox translation which says, “Fearlessly will I talk of thy decrees in the presence of kings, and be never abashed.”
Truth is not always easy to make known. People often compromise the truth because they are scared of the repercussions. But we are not raising wimps--we are raising warriors. We are raising children who are not afraid to face the enemy. We need soldiers like C.T. Studd prayed for:
With good courageous habits,
Who ne’er will run from the devil’s gun
Like hares and bunny rabbits!
Some translations of Psalm 127:5 say, “Contend with the enemies in the gate.” Our “arrows” must know how to contend for their faith and the truth.
“How do we train our children to speak?” you may ask. Perhaps Apologetics should be part of every homeschooling curriculum. Our children must learn how to give an answer for the faith that is in them (1 Peter 3:15). Of course, it will be difficult to prepare children to be truth-bearers if we are not heralding the truth ourselves. We must not be afraid to speak God’s eternal truths, even when they are counter-culture. The ideologies of our society regarding family are not working. There is so much heartache in marriages and family life. Marriages are continually falling apart. God’s way, although different to man’s ways are the way to success if we are prepared to be obedient to them. We must not ever be ashamed of the truth. We do not have to be intimidated by our adversaries. We can speak with confidence for we know the way that works!
We should be like the apostle Paul who spoke boldly in the synagogue and in the market place, testifying, reasoning, disputing and persuading people in the truth. The psalmist and Paul both confessed, “I believed, therefore have I spoken.” (Psalm 116:10 and 2 Corinthians 4:13) What do you believe? That’s what you’ll speak about. What are you teaching your children to believe? What is the passion of their heart? That’s what they’ll speak about. Not clichés, but convictions!
Never forget—silence is surrender, but speaking the truth can change the culture of the nation.
Raise your children to be warriors for the Lord. Raise them to know the truth. Prepare them to speak the truth—anointed, not-giving-in, not-backing-down words—in the market place and in high places.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL, ABOVE RUBIES
“Lord, please lift my vision for parenting my children. Help me to train them to know and understand the truth and be filled with zeal and boldness to speak your truth to all they meet. Help me to also be a truth-bearer wherever I go and to never be ashamed of your timeless truths. Amen.”
I am raising children to be Truth Bearers.
Speaking boldly, disputing and persuading:
Read Acts 4:13; 29-31; 9:27, 29; 13:43, 46; 14:3; 17:17; 18:4, 13, 26; 19:8, 26; 28:23; Ephesians 6:18-19; Philippians 1:20; 2 Corinthians 5:11; Proverbs 28:1.
Speaking before kings and rulers:
Psalm 119:46; Proverbs 22:29; Acts 4:8; 24:10-21; 24-27; 26:1-32.
Always ready to speak, even to those who oppose:
Ezekiel 33:8-9; Matthew 10:18-20; 32-33; Colossians 4:6; 2 Timothy 2:25; 4:1-2; 1 Peter 3:15.
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