(Adapted from the book Discovering Truth: Bible Basics.)
Teaching and training your children
Judges 13:8 Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, and said, O my Lord, please … teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.
A. God’s care of young children:
§ Matthew 18:10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in Heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in Heaven.
B. Even if only one parent is a believer, the children are sanctified by God:
§ 1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
C. Their early training will guide them all through life:
§ Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
D. Give the care and training of your children priority:
§ John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
E. If you neglect them for other things, you’ll both suffer:
§ Proverbs 29:15 A child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
F. You should teach your children God’s Word:
§ Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
§ Deuteronomy 11:18-20 Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul. … You shall teach them to your children.
§ Isaiah 38:19b The father shall make known Your truth to the children.
§ Joel 1:3 Tell your children about it, let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.
§ John 21:15 Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, Do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My lambs.
§ 2 Timothy 3:15 And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
§ Psalm 78:1,6 Give ear, O My people, to My law; incline your ears to the Words of My mouth … that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children.
§ 1 John 2:13 I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father.
G. Teach your children to trust in God:
§ Psalm 22:9b You made me [King David] trust while on my mother’s breasts.
§ Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear [reverence] of the Lord.
§ Psalm 78:6-7 That the generation to come might know them [the Words of God] … that they may arise and declare them to their children: That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.
§ Acts 2:39 For the promise [of God] is to you and to your children.
H. Lead them to receive Jesus:
§ Mark 10:14 Jesus said, Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
§ Galatians 4:19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.
§ 1 John 2:12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake
I. God’s Word teaches them how to have eternal life:
§ John 5:39 Search the Scriptures; for in them … ye have eternal life: and these are they which testify of Me.
§ 2 Timothy 3:15 From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
J. Only God can teach life’s most important lessons:
§ Psalm 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.
§ Proverbs 8:32-33 Now therefore, listen to me [wisdom, God’s Spirit], my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it.
§ Isaiah 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.
§ 1 Corinthians 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
K. Children worshiping with their parents:
§ Joshua 8:35 [Little ones listen to Bible reading with parents:] There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were living among them.
§ 2 Chronicles 20:13 [Children included in serious prayer meetings:] Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord.
§ Joel 2:12,16 Now, therefore, says the Lord, Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. … Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room.
Children’s obedience and disobedience
A. Children are to obey their parents:
§ Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.
§ Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
§ Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
B. Children are to honor and reverence their parents:
§ Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
§ Leviticus 19:3 Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father.
§ Ephesians 6:2 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise.
§ Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
§ Proverbs 20:20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in deep darkness.
C. The blessing of having obedient, wise children:
§ Proverbs 10:1 A wise son makes a glad father.
§ Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction.
§ Proverbs 23:15-16 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice. … Yes, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak right things.
§ Proverbs 23:24-25 The father of the
righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice.
§ 3 John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
D. The grief of having disobedient, foolish (not obeying their parents and/or the Lord) children:
§ Proverbs 17:21 The father of a fool has no joy.
§ Proverbs 17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him.
§ Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son is the ruin of his father.
§ Proverbs 10:1b A foolish son is the grief of his mother.
Loving instruction balanced with firm discipline
A. Treat your children gently and in love:
§ 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.
§ Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
§ 1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
§ Titus 2:4 Admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.
B. Patience, mercy, and truth are the most effective:
§ 1 Thessalonians 2:11 We exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children.
§ Romans 2:4 The goodness of God leads you to repentance.
§ Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
C. Each child is different; seek God how to train and discipline:
§ Judges 13:12 How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
D. The Scriptural admonition to chastise naughty children:
§ Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
§ Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
§ Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.
§ Proverbs 23:13 Do not withhold correction from a child.
§ Proverbs 29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.
E. Responsible Christians are to restrain their children:
§ 1 Timothy 3:4 [A Christian leader must] rule his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence.
§ 1 Timothy 3:12b Ruling their children and their own houses well.
§ Titus 1:6 Having faithful children … not unruly.
§ (See also Galatians 4:1-2.)
F. When children are not corrected or restrained:
§ 1 Samuel 3:13 [The Lord said to Samuel] I will judge his [Eli’s] house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them (1 Samuel 2:22-25).
§ 1 Kings 1:1,5-6: [Adonijah attempts to take David’s throne:] Now King David was old, advanced in years. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. (And his father had not rebuked him at any time [when he was younger] by saying, Why have you done so?)
§ Proverbs 29:15 A child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
G. Such a lack of discipline means a lack of fearing God:
§ 1 Samuel 2:29-30 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me? … Those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. (See the reason in 1 Samuel 2:12-17.)
H. Even with right training, some children will go wrong:
§ 1 Samuel 8:1,3 [Righteous Samuel’s sons became corrupt and covetous:] Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. … But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.
§ Mark 13:12-13 [In the Last Days, some children will betray their Christian parents.] (See also Matthew 24:10.)
§ (See also Proverbs 2:16-18.)
I. Partiality and favoritism cause problems:
§ Genesis 25:27-28 Isaac loved Esau [his oldest son] … but Rebekah loved Jacob [and helped Jacob deceive his aged father Isaac–Genesis 27:1-18].
§ Genesis 37:3-4 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.
The growing years
A. Be considerate of children’s limitations:
§ Genesis 33:13-14 The children are weak. … I will lead on slowly at a pace which … [they] are able to endure.
B. Growing up and maturing:
§ Hebrews 5:14 But solid food [strong doctrine] belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
C. If trained right, children will be a great blessing:
§ Psalm 127:4-5 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
§ Isaiah 8:18 Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion.
§ Matthew 18:5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
§ (See also Mark 9:36-37.)
D. Children proclaiming God’s praise:
§ Matthew 21:15-16 When the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! they were indignant and said to Him, Do You hear what these are saying? And Jesus said to them, Yes. Have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise?
§ Nehemiah 12:43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.
§ Psalm 148:12-13 Both young men and maidens; old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and Heaven.
E. Becoming a teen, a young adult:
§ 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
§ Ephesians 4:14a We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.
§ 1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
F. Teen years: A time of dedication and commitment:
§ 2 Chronicles 34:1-7 [Josiah, when 16 years old, sought God in earnest, dedicated his life to Him, and zealously served Him.]
§ Ecclesiates 12:1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth.
§ 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.