What Are We Teaching Our Children?
"Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding." - Proverbs 4:1
Pastor Jonathan Painter
Who is instructing our children? Society tells us that it is okay to delegate this responsibility to daycare workers, schoolteachers, and extended family. While the people in these positions may serve to help aid in the instruction of your children God has intended that you as a parent take a leading role regarding the instruction of your children. The parent must take heed to the quality that their child receives, for what they are taught while they are young affects what they will be when they are old. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Parenting is hard job, this cannot be disputed. Whether you have one child or have many children the job itself can be overwhelming if the parent is not properly prepared. Proper preparation for a parent entail having a vision for their children, not just for what they can become, but for what they are right now. “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18) What is your vision today for your children.
I have a vision for my children, I have a goal for them today. My vision is that they would look sharp, speak respectfully, be well-behaved, work hard, be honest, and love the Lord. Undoubtedly there are parents who read this list and think that I must live in a fantasy world, or that this is a piped dream. However, I have a vision for my children, and my wife and I are working hard to make this a reality. Have a vision for what they can became, but also have a vision for what they can be today. We must instruct them according to this vision.
My wife and I have a vision together of what our children can be today, and we work together to make this vision a reality. We want our children to look sharp, so we teach them how to dress properly. We are teaching them to comb their hair, and tuck in their shirts, and wear socks and shoes. We don’t want to wait until they are teens to teach them this. They can learn it now.
We want our children to speak respectfully. We teach them to say Yes sir, and yes ma’am when responding to an adult. We don’t let them yell at each other, or us, in anger and we don’t allow them to be sassy when they are told to do something.
We want our children to be well-behaved, therefore we correct their poor behavior and instruct them in what is proper behavior. This is a process that must happen repeatedly. Parents must be resolved to stick with it, even when they are tired. However, the results are well worth it in the end. “The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1)
We want our children to be hard workers, therefore we give them simple chores that they are capable of completing and follow up to make sure the job is done and done correctly. Their chores are simple and usually done very quickly leaving them plenty of time and energy to exercise their imaginations at play. However, they are learning that work must come before fun.
We want our children to be honest. This requires us to not tolerate lying at all. This also requires us to be honest ourselves with our children. We wonder why our kids cannot keep their word, it stems from a generation of parents who didn’t make their children keep their word or keep their own word to their children.
We want our children to love the Lord. This is why we have Bible time at our house where they sit down and have the Bible read to them in the morning and in the evening, they work on their memory verses and have prayer time before bed.
I am afraid that we wait too long to teach our children the lessons that they need to know. They can be taught while they are young. Solomon in Proverbs recites some of the truths his parents taught him while he was still young and tender. “For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” Proverbs 4:3-4
We too can teach our children at a young age what they should do even now, that will help them as they grow to become the people God wants them to be. What is your vision for your children? What are we teaching them?