“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
How do you train a child? Is anything more important than training the next generation? Can this be put off?
What can we do to touch the next generation with the gospel and equip them for what they need in life?
First, start immediately to influence your children for God. With the way children grow, this is not something that can be put off. I usually say that parenting is 24/7 and there are no days off. Everything counts with children.
Second, don’t say “do as I say, not as I do.” As I have observed families and children over the years, this attitude is a sure way to build in resentment and rebellion in children. Children work well with examples. They don’t work well without a picture of what you want them to become. You are that picture.
You will not always get it right. You will have to apologize. Your children will actually respect you more when you speak truth to them.
Third, be consistent. Determine what behaviors you want and don’t want and stick with them all the time. Not enforcing what matters or being inconsistent confuses children.
Finally and above all else, put God first. Many parents make church and God just one more good thing for children. Church and God fit on a par with dance lessons or soccer. God will not accept or bless anything that makes Him an equal to anything else. He must be first, and He must be Lord.
Make your church attendance and Bible Study consistent. If your children ask if we’re going to church today, you have not reached your goal.
Children need many other areas of encouragement, but these are basic concepts which must enter into your training your child.
It’s a major job, but it’s well worth it. May God bless you as you lead your children.
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