Children are too often seen as liabilities rather than assets especially in this part of the world. But the Bible calls children “an heritage of the Lord”, a reward. Those who view children as distractions should instead see them as an opportunity to shape the future.
This current generation is definitely a changing world and parenting has to be intentional. Now when it comes to raising godly children , it takes careful consideration especially as it will not just happen. Godly Parenting is about your role as a spiritually-minded parent and the God-given role that is yours alone .
In this present generation , families have material and social advantages more than the previous generations ever had. Most families have material goods and luxuries which are unknown to the past generations. Most have unparalleled opportunities for education, leisure, entertainment, and recreations.
With all these amenities in place, one might think families would be happy and trouble-free but yet families today face incredible conflicts and difficulties in raising their children in a godly way. Before we continue let’s define these terms:
Who is a child ? A child is a young person below the age of puberty
Who is a parent? Every adult is a potential parent. Therefore the responsibility of a parent is not only to those who are your biological children, but also to children that God has put around you. Like kid sisters, nephews , spiritual children even children from friends and close associates.
(Ephesians 6:4) One thing parents must bear in mind is this , every child is unique and should be taught so. They are all different with inherent values, talents and skills. The way you raise first child will be different from last child or any other child around you. That is why parenting is not easy. It takes lots of patience to raise children in a loving, Christ-honouring manner. As parents, we are instructed by Scripture to train children in the way [they] should go (like ancestral cord… explain). God holds us personally accountable and we must never relinquish our responsibility, even though we may share it with someone outside the home.
The best time to prepare for an important task , is before the task begins. If you wait till you face the situation, it may be too late to seek training. E.g Why are you in school now?……You are training to prepare for future responsibilities in life . As parents you need to prepare for parenthood before you begin.
There are some bible principles for parents to follow in raising & training children in a godly manner :
(1) We must consistently keep our purpose before us and take all actions with that purpose in mind: to raise our children to serve God.
(2) We must consistently plan our actions in harmony with God’s word, and put our plan into action.
(3) We must consistently act in love for the whole family, making our decisions according to what is best for all.
(4) We must consistently instruct our children to know God’s will.
(5) We must consistently use authority for the good of all, expecting obedience and respect from children.
(6) We must consistently motivate our children to obey us by means of proper, diligent application of punishments and rewards.
(7) we must always be consistent to all these principles
These Bible principles about child raising are so critical so I will refer to them as the “keys” that open the door to success.
Keys to Raising Godly Children.
Key 1: Purpose :
No one can succeed in any task without keeping his goal clearly in mind. So parents must keep their responsibility clearly in mind. What do you consider to be your goal as a parent? What would it take to make you feel that you had been a success or a failure as a parent?
Parents Must Set Goals .
If you are a parent, you must have purpose, and you must work diligently toward the purpose . Whether you like it or not, if you have children you must recognize that you are responsible to raise your children properly. Too many parents simply don’t want to accept their responsibility as parents. They expect others to raise their children: the government, schools, church, babysitters, day-care centers, or their friends or relatives. Meanwhile the parents will have enough time to pursue other interests like Business, wealth , career , power, fame , conflicts etc.
Some fathers think they will leave the children to the mothers to raise and vice-versa . Some divorce and leave the home without looking back and they desert their children. Some spend too much time away from home pursuing other interests. Some simply don’t bother. This is unacceptable.
When you participated in the act that produces children, you accepted the responsibility to care for any child that was conceived. Your children did not ask to come into the World . You brought them here , now it’s your job to take care of them. Someone may say that a child was “an accident” – you did not intend to conceive.
But the fact is that, if you chose to participate in the act that may result in a child, then you are responsible for any child that results.
The government did not bring your child into this world. You did. So don’t expect the government to raise your child. Likewise, for the church, the schools, the day-care center, and your parents or relatives – none of them brought your children into this world. You brought them here; now you take care of them. Caring for them properly must be your goal. God Holds You Responsible for Raising Your Children.(Genesis 18:19). If anything goes wrong God will not spare you (1 Samuel 3:12-14 ) . Parents must accept the goal of raising their children properly and must diligently work toward that goal. They must not leave this to others .
(a) Popular Goals which are not the Main goals set by Parents (1Tim. 5:8)
* provision of our children’s physical needs …designer outfits , expensive holiday trips
- Provision of good education.
- preparing them for life, so they can have a happy marriage and be good citizens and neighbors.
- provision of some recreations, entertainments and enjoyments.
Many parents are too concerned about physical pursuits. Matthew 16:26 – What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Likewise, what profit are we to our children if we give them all the world has to offer, but they are eternally lost?
A lot of parents spend long hours working, to provide physical things for their children, but they are so busy working that they neglect to give their children time and attention. Other parents spend many hours with their children in physical or material pursuits: sports, clubs, school functions, music, etc. They are constantly on the run, but the emphasis is material, physical, and social. The result of these approaches is exactly what we see in society: children who have hosts of physical advantages but are neither godly nor happy.
On the other hand, many “poor” families are highly successful. There are some families with one old car, no Plasma TV, 4-room house, plain clothes, and just a basic education. But the children knew God’s will, had close family ties, and grew up serving God faithfully. (I am not encouraging poverty ) Many children today are spoiled by over-providing. They don’t appreciate what they are given and they grow up thinking the world owes them a living.
- (b). The Main Goal and Purpose Of Parenting ( Malachai 2:15)
The main God’s Goals for Parents is to train our children to serve God so they can receive eternal life.
Our children will not always have us around to guide their decisions. We must instill in them the understanding and habit of doing right, so they will serve God when they make their own decisions.
Genesis 18:19 – Abraham commanded his children to keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice. This should be the goal of all fathers who are truly faithful to God.
Psalms 34:11 – To instill the fear of God on our children , we must give our children many things money cannot buy: time, love, instruction in God’s word, guidance in dealing with life’s problems, an example of godliness, and training in moral purity. With each decision we should ask, “What effect will this have on my child’s eternal destiny?”
Children are not given to us to treat them the way we please. They are not our property. They are God’s children given into our care, so we can raise them to be what He wants them to be. Suppose our children grow up, get good jobs, have happy marriages, and are good neighbors and citizens, but do not live as faithful Christians. Then they are failures, and we have failed to accomplish our purpose as parents. According to Malachi 2:15
On the other hand, suppose our children don’t receive college educations, live below middle-class American standards, and are not particularly athletic , famous or outwardly beautiful, but they serve God faithfully. If so, they are successes, and we have been successful parents. Therefore Parents should lead their children to put God first in life. Because parents’ choices may determine their children’s eternal destiny. (Deut. 6:6-7 , Ps.78:1-4 , 2 Tim 3:14-15 )
However, when children do not turn out well, we should all surely sympathize. The parents need to consider if they made mistakes. If they did, they should repent and ask forgiveness. Afterall everybody makes mistakes .
There is a popular saying that people believe a lot “Every family has a black sheep.” What passage in the Bible teaches that? None! But we believed it, and sure enough we keep raising”black sheep”thereby making excuses thinking you cannot raise godly children, you are defeated before you start! Because of this kind of mindset , we are losing the majority of our children. Instead of making excuses, let us just admit that many parents are not doing their job well. Let us learn from our mistakes and start studying God’s word to find out how to do it right .
Have the mindset that my purpose as a parent is to raise my children to serve God. If I don’t get my priorities straight so that I raise them to serve God first, He will hold me accountable. To a large extent, your children’s destiny and your destiny depend on whether or not you train your children
as God’s word says.
Let us realize the seriousness of our responsibility as parents and keep our eye on our goal. If we have gotten off track and put too much emphasis on temporal things, let us repent. And let us all accept the challenge to raise godly children. Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
When God states a principle regarding raising children, we must all act within the teaching of that principle.