One friend told us that children are the only ones we could take to heaven with us. How true that is! Every child belongs to God. When God gives us a child, it means that he entrusts us with the responsibility to help then grow in the ways of the Lord. God has entrusted to us, children who are the best gifts from God Himself. The Bible says that children are a reward from God. The time and the effort that we put in our children’s life have an eternal impact on their lives.
As parents, we need to parent them with a Biblical perspective. Not all children will accomplish their God intended purposes in their life. God has a part in their life but His purposes will be complete only when the parents do their part. It is like a two way street. God does His part all the time. But the parents need to realize that they have a part to play in Godly upbringing.
We have seen parents saving money and laying up inheritance for their children. And there is nothing wrong with that. Parents need to invest on the children that will have an eternal value.
Hannah offered Samuel to God even before he was born. Hannah marked Samuel before he came out of her womb. Hannah sent Samuel to Eli, the priest at the temple. The surroundings were not very good at Eli’s place. Eli had sons that did not do things that pleased God. They were very ungodly but still Samuel was not affected by their behavior. How often we worry too much about how polluted the media has become or how bad the political situation is, so on and so forth.
Your children might have a most ungodly environment at school or in your neighborhood. Our children may live in an ungodly world, but they need not be affected by it. But when you, as parents mark your children for the Lord, no devil in hell can have a place in your child’s life. When we offer our children to the Lord, they hear the voice of God despite their surroundings. The prayers that you offered begin to work on their behalf.
Steps To Godly Parenting
First, don’t listen to the world’s wisdom concerning the upbringing of your child but listen to God’s Word. Biblical discipline and training will shape their futures for God. The training that you give you child goes a long way. They may get older in life but the biblical principles will stick with them. There is so much value in showing them the way of God.
Proverbs 22:6 says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.’ Proverbs 29:15 says, ‘The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother’.
Second, direct your children by your example. Let them see you praying and reading your Bible. Let them see your godly example. Your children see and do rather than hear and do. It is easier for them to see the pattern and follow. Would you be a role model to them?
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1, ‘Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.’ Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:16, ‘Therefore, I urge you, imitate me’. Paul writes to the Philippians in Philippians 3:17, ‘Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern’.
Third, teach them to have God’s word in their hearts. Psalmist says in Psalm 119:11, ‘I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you’. The word of God is the navigator. It will point your children in God’s assigned direction. They need not be like a ship that has no compass. They can be assured of their destiny. Every time, they try to do something that is not appropriate for them to do, the red light in their heart starts blinking till they turn away from the sin.
Fourth, encourage them. Listen to them with tenderness and patience. There should be a lot of love and affection. In such an atmosphere, parents can build into the lives of these children the precious foundation of the knowledge of the Lord God Almighty. Do not put them on a deficit all the time. Nurture a healthy self image in them.
Finally, be like the heavenly Father. Love them unconditionally. Do not forsake or condemn them. Even if your children are grown, you can still be a Father and Mother to them. They are never too old for God to do His work in them. You are the vehicles of God’s love to them.
The Bible says in Ephesians 6:4, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
A right attitude matters much. An atmosphere filled with sarcasm, criticism and condemnation will provoke a child to wrath. In such an atmosphere, no sound teaching can happen. God holds parents responsible for the children- not grandparents and relatives. Although the teachers and churches influence children, the duty rests with the parents.
May the Lord rise up Godly parents to bless the coming generation in Jesus’ name. Amen.