“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
by Charmaine Nokuri
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
We are blessed in America to have free public education for our children. However, we should be aware that the goal of public education is to create skilled laborers and citizens that support the American goverment.
Therefore, it is the job of the Christian parent to teach their children the values and principles that will guide them towards becoming spiritually mature adults who create Christ-Centered homes.
Too many times parenting goals focus on pushing a child towards a certain career path or simply making sure the child doesnt embarass us in public. Some parents raise their children as trophies or pets and force their will on the child, rather than cultivating the kind of Christ centered relationship that will be the model for the child’s future & present relationships.
As Christian parents we must be careful not to depend too heavily on our past experiences (my dad did it this way so I will) or let culture (Oprah, PTA, Dr. Spock) overly influence how we raise our children. Biblical man/womanhood, not an identity based on culture is the direction we want our children to go. How this looks for them based on social undercurrents or their unique personalities traits may be totally different than what we were taught as children. Yet we don’t want them caught up in sinful self-destructive behaviors taught by today’s society such as homosexuality, twerking, poppin Mollies, etc.
In order to be effective parents we must study the Word of God to know what He expects of true followers of Christ and then pray about how to develop a learning plan for our children to train them in that direction. While taking them to a Biblically sound church should be a part of the training process, so they can learn to be a part of Christian community, every child has unique issues that a parent must be prepared to address. In fact, God commands in Dueteronomy 6:7 that a parent shouldn’t wait until a holy day to teach their children about His laws but such teaching should be apart of daily living.
While there will be times teaching your child will be informally done and spontaneous, there are times when you will need to be more intentional and develop a training plan. A succesful training plan (learning plan) will include:
1) Clear goals
2) Some instruction
4) Assessment (something to check if they learned the principle)
Here is an example of how this might work:
1) Goal: I want to teach my child about the harmful effects of lying.
2) Instruction: Adventures in Odyssey® Life Lessons Series #7: Honesty
3) Homework: Memorizing Proverbs 12:22 NKJV
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord , But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
4) Assessment: Reciting scripture and discussing what they learn.
Developing a training plan may take alot of work researching on the internet or asking a Bible teacher, but this is a very good investment of your time
and a practical way of “training up your child” as the Bible commands. You may have to give up some tv time or even cut back on church activities during certain seasons of your child’s life, but these seeds that you are diligently planting will produce an amazing harvest that will impact your childern’s children.
Finally, any effective teacher just as any effective Christian, must be Christ-like and take a humble servant approach to their teaching methods. Being humble and honest about your struggles with your children and what steps you are taking to deal with your shortcomings, will guard against hippocrisy undermining your instruction. We didn’t come into this world knowing everything. We failed and made mistakes that were neccesary for our development, yet God still loves and blesses us. So while we must be firm in our convictions, we also must give our children the grace and space to grow.