The Bible says, “Children are a heritage” (Psalms 127:3). Thus, it is the parents’ job to “Train them in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6). You can’t take that away from your Christian life.
The Lord loves little children. Just like an earthly father, He is also mainly concerned about their training and education. Thus, in His wisdom, He commissioned parents to teach the little ones with His ways.
Just like any other possession, children are a treasure the Lord wants parents to manage rightly. The question is when the Savior comes, will he bid you “well done good and faithful servant?”
To guide us more about this, here are ten things parents should teach their children.
The Fear of the Lord
Parents should be the pillars of faith in the home. They should model godliness, reverence, and a high standard of principles anchored in the Words of God.
In Moses’ time, the Lord commanded him to fix his words on their hearts and mind. The children should learn God’s Words whether they sit at home or walk along the road. And whether they lie down and get up (Deuteronomy 11:18).
Jesus said to his disciples, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”(Matthew 19:14). Therefore, parents should share the burden of ushering their children to the Lord.
According to the book of Proverbs, parents should not hesitate to discipline children. Since if you spank him, he will not die (Proverbs 23: 13).
Most parenting books nowadays do not subscribe to the idea of using the rod in disciplining a child. Although, this is true to some extent, as anger may lead to abuse.
The Bible is clear that we must not spare them with the rod. We are also warned not to anger our children but rear them in the discipline and the teaching of our Lord (Ephesians 6:4)”.
Thus, parents must strike a balance between love and discipline. We don’t want to end up on both extremes as spoiling children and abusing them.
Value for Labor
Children need to know that work is not degrading. The truth is, the Lord has set a job for Adam and Eve “to tend and keep the garden” (Genesis 2:15) because of the blessing it gives.
It is considered shameful not to train the youth with any trade or industry in the Israelites time. Even the Lord Jesus did some menial work in the carpentry shop of Joseph.
Rightly employed, work can ennoble children’s character and teach them valuable lessons not learned in school. Also, work invigorates the physical being and allows us to shun away from the temptations of idleness.
The family is the first unit in a society where children must learn self-reliance, trust, cooperation, accountability, etc. Thus, giving children tasks at home will help them develop simple life-skills and values that may be useful for them in real-life.
Parents must not think that they are too hard on their children when they assign them home tasks. Parents and children must know that employing their energy into some useful labor can bring them joy and much more blessings to the people around them.
In giving children tasks, remind them that this makes them fulfill God’s Words. Ephesians 6: 13 says, “Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord because this is right.” Also, Colossians 3:24 says, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord.”
Economy and Finances
Another aspect parents should teach their children is the aspect of economy and finances. A lot of times, parents do not see the need to discuss this topic with their children.
Most families don’t talk about money. That’s why children usually fail to realize the value of every penny they waste by taking for granted the things their parents provide them—for example, tuition, food, utilities, allowance, etc.
Thus, when thrown into the real world. Children are left to fend for themselves. And when they think life is just a bed of roses where you eat, drink, and be merry.
As stewards of our time, talent, and treasures, parents should practically be models of economy, tithing, and charity.
Acts 20:35 says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Jesus showed a perfect example of giving. He who laid down His life for us because He loves us (John 15:13).
Contrary to the world’s feat for money-getting. Giving brings a sense of joy to the benefactor. Probably because through this, we get to share the character of God. Through giving, we become God’s helping hands to the world. Through giving, we become instrumental in sharing God’s love with others.
The Bible reminds us, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver”(2 Corinthians 9: 7).
The Lord is delighted in children who respect their parents. The Lord values this trait so much that He included it in His ten commandments! Also, this is the only commandment that comes with a blessing.
Ephesians 6: 1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy a long life on the earth.”
Although respect is a broad topic, it is not limited to parent-children relationships alone. Children must also learn to respect their siblings, teachers, classmates, and other people they interact with. They must do it because it is right, and they love doing what is right.
Health and Well-being
“This is the way we wash our face…so early in the morning” is a nursery rhyme commonly taught to preschoolers.
The parents are a child’s first teachers. Since the Bible says that the body is the temple of the holy spirit (1 Corinthians 7:1), we should not neglect our children’s health and well-being.
Taking good care of one’s body and hygiene must first start at home. And parents must be the prime advocates of taking care of one’s health.
We live in a time with limitless opportunities for connection. However, more often than not, children are disconnected from others.
We all know that God is a sympathetic God. He is the best example to teach sympathy. Remember, there is no tear in our eyes that God will leave unnoticed. No desire and need disregarded—no prayers taken for granted.
Children emulate things they see from adults. Thus, if parents fail to sympathize with their children, their little troubles, joys, and longings of the heart, they will also fail to learn to do it for others.
Social awareness is the ability to interact with other people coming from diverse backgrounds. Children who are taught social awareness at home most likely find it easy to build positive relationships with others. They also tend to get involved more in solving problems outside the home than those who are not socially aware.
When Jesus was a young man, the Bible describes that He grew in favor of God and man (Luke 2:52). Jesus brought religion to his workplace. He often sang praises to the Lord, which uplift the dwellers in Nazareth.
If you look at the map, Nazareth is a small village leading to Jerusalem. Therefore, it is the crossroad of the world. In there, the Lord allowed Jesus to meet different people and minister to them.
When Adam and Eve sinned, not only their relationship with God was marred. But also their relationship with the environment. Ideally, Man must act as stewards of nature.
However, as time passes, nature is getting more and more degraded because of man’s ways. If parents love God, they must also teach their children to love the Creator through caring for His creations.
Parents must not neglect their duty to teach their children to become stewards of the environment. Simple ways like throwing their garbage correctly, conserving water and energy, being kind to animals, or merely recycling papers for scratch can already be a big difference in teaching environmental awareness to children.
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