Sun header image

Child Rearing

Click for the Bible study forward

Key Verse: Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Question: What does the key verse mean to you?

LESSON:

Across the field of yesterday
He sometimes comes to me,
A little lad just back from play,
The lad I used to be.

And yet he smiles so wistfully
Once he has crept within,
I wonder if he hopes to see
The man I might have been.

               Author Unknown
Children are a gift from God. The Bible has much to say about child rearing and how the children should act. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalms 127:3-5).

Jesus loved children. Once, when young children were brought to Him for Him to touch them, the disciples rebuked those that brought them. When Jesus saw this, He was displeased with the disciples and told them to allow the little children to approach, for they are models of the childlike acceptance to be found in the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:13-15) Notice verse 15 that states that the ones without this innocent belief will not be allowed to enter there.

From an early age they must be taught Godís Word and His law. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates (Deuteronomy 11:19-20).

Give them chores. Every child should be given something they are responsible for getting done and the parent should see that they do it. Donít nag and fuss when they fail to perform, withhold rewards until they earn them. When they do the chore, compliment them for performing. Even if the quality of the task is below par, thank them for trying. If you always find fault, they will become discouraged.

God has rules for mankind and a household should have its rules. A child has no direction without rules. They need to know where the boundaries are. Be consistent and stick to the rules you have. Mothers and Dads should agree. Donít tell them one thing while the other parent tells them something else.

Always set the right example. Donít think they donít see and hear what you do. I remember when my mother would send me to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor and how she would always return a cup and a half. When I asked her why she did that she said she always wanted to make sure she returned enough. I find myself doing the same. What if she had said, ďI donít have to return what I borrowed, they have more than we doĒ?

Good advice to fathers for instilling the desired values in their daughters is to be the kind of man you want her to marry. The same principle applies to the son. Be the kind of man you want him to be.

Children are instructed to obey their parents in the Lord for this is right (Colossians 3:20) The Fifth Commandment has a promise if obeyed. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee (Exodus 20:12). Also, My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee (Proverbs 3:1-2). Daughters should be taught to dress and behave in a lady-like manner. 1 Timothy 2:9 is advice to a woman but if the woman abides by it, she will teach her children the same qualities. It is the little things, done daily, that they will remember, not how much money you spend on them or if you drive the latest car or have the nicest house. Itís the consistent acts of love that they will remember.

Parents are instructed not to withhold correction from their child (Proverbs 23:13). Do not allow them to do as they please, but donít over correct or micro manage to the point that the child becomes discouraged (Colossians 3:21). Correction must be combined with affection that shows the child that they are loved and your actions are in accordance with Godís perspective concerning their upbringing (Ephesians 6:4). To be God-like parents, we must have love for each child. Each child is different with a unique personality because God likes variety. The form of your expression of love needs to be tailored to each childís disposition, especially in a large family environment. If each one has a particular province in what would be a multi-faceted relationship and knows that this is their own little world, it will go a long way to minimizing jealousy. Donít compare and point out differences in your children. Showing a preference for one child over another is hurtful and wrong.

Praise your child, but do it honestly, for ďPraise to a child is like water to a thirsty plant.Ē A certain television personality related how being told as a child that she was the ďsmartest little thingĒ made such a difference to her that she remembers it to this very day. Donít over praise. Keep it honest. The mother of a beautiful young girl repeatedly told her daughter how pretty and perfect she was and this excess of praise resulted in the girlís being vain, spoiled, and conceited.

During an episode of ďFocus on the FamilyĒ it was said that a child spells LOVE ďT-I-M-EĒ. Spend time with your children. Play games, take walks, have a picnic, talk with them or read a story. They will remember these things. Monitor the T. V. Donít allow too much time on the computer and if at all possible, donít leave children alone at home. Encourage them to bring their friends home and make their friends welcome. Some of the most popular moms in America are the ones who can whip up a fast snack of goodies for the neighborís kids.

The best gift parents can give their children is a loving home. Parents showing love and respect for each other establish the right atmosphere for the child. Of course you must love your children and let them know they are loved and appreciated. Being a good parent is a hard job. Sometimes it may seem like a thankless job, but in the end it will be rewarding.

CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity, he learns to be sorry for himself.
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition, he learns to have a goal.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns what justice is.
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself.
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Why are children so precious? See page two (Psalms 127:3)

  2. What is the connection between correction and love? (Proverbs 3:12)

  3. Discuss an event in your childhood that gave you a life-long lesson.


FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Matthew 18:3-5 Become as little children.
Matthew 19:13-14 Jesus said, Suffer little children.
Matthew 21:15-16 Young children praised Jesus.


For questions or comments on this Bible study you can e-mail us by clicking on this link.