Scripture Verse: Deuteronomy 6:6-9.
Few things in life compare to the joy of children. In them, we see who we are, and the potential for so much more; we see the reality of what we are, both good and bad; and we see the prolonging of our lives through our children and grandchildren. The seriousness and magnitude of being a parent is brought into focus when we realize they really aren’t our children. They’re on loan from God. He’s placed His children in our care.
Scripture speaks of children as a blessing, not a curse. “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them [children],” says Psalm 127:5. The blessing of children is too often seen as a curse. For fathers like Eli and Samuel, it was a curse. But, God’s plan for parenting is one of joy, peace, and contentment. Why is it so often more negative than positive? God has a specific plan for children and when parents don’t follow it, misery is the result.
God’s plan is founded upon two principles-training and discipline. Before children can even understand knowledge, reason, and discipline, they can be trained. A six-month old baby has different cries; one will be because he’s hungry or hurt and one because he’s mad or wants something he doesn’t have. In the latter case, he must be trained. As they grow, children need to be trained by verbal instruction, by parental example, and then given the choice to choose right or wrong.
When the choice is wrong, God’s plan is discipline. Just as He disciplines His children, God wants parents to lovingly and humbly restore their children to righteousness. Discipline is never to punish, but to bring about repentance and restoration.
- What can be concluded about children from the following verses? Psalm 127:3-5; 128:3; Genesis 33:5; Matthew 19:14.
- Why is it important to recognize the generational aspect of raising children? Deuteronomy 6:20-25; Proverbs 17:6.
Note: As Christians, we shouldn’t raise our children to be good Christians. Raising children goes far beyond them and ourselves. The goal of our parenting is godly great, great-grandchildren. If this generational aspect isn’t taught, obedience to God will fade as quickly as each generation.
- Are there specific guidelines listed in Scripture for training children? Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 6:4; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; I John 5:2-3; Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 6:20-21; James 1:22-25; Psalm 1:1- 3; I Corinthians 13:4-8.
- Discuss the scriptural goal of disciplining children. Hebrews 12:9-10; Galatians 6:1; Proverbs 22:15a.
Note: In Hebrews 12:10, the word “chasten” literally means disciplinary correction. The goal of discipline isn’t punishment, it’s correction, restoration, and character development consistent with the Word of God.
- Are both parents to be involved in training and correcting children? Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 1:8; 6:20; I Timothy 5:10. Why does Scripture speak directly to fathers in Ephesians 6:4?
- What promise is made to parents in Proverbs 22:6? Is there any reason to believe this isn’t true in every Christian home?
- How can differences in raising children drive a wedge between a husband and a wife? Amos 3:3; Matthew 12:25.
- Do children have specific responsibilities to their parents? Ephesians 6:1-3; Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 23:22; Ecclesiastes 12:1.
- Should the “Rod of Correction” be used in a Christian home? Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13. Is it true that if we don’t use the rod of correction, we hate our children? Explain.