Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What Parents Must Teach Their Children

18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

19 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.

20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: (Deuteronomy 11:18-20)
With every passing day I become more and more determined to teach my daughter what she needs to know to become a responsible adult, a Christian, a woman, and eventually a wife and a mother. It is our job as her parents to say to her as it says in the book of Isaiah, "This is the way, walk ye in it." (Isaiah 30:21) I want her to learn, both from our experiences and from the guidelines in the Word of God, how to act and react to every situation in her life.

There is a passage of scripture in Romans, chapter 1, that describes the person I do not want her to be.

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,


31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Notice, that in this list alongside some perfectly horrible attributes is the phrase "disobedient to parents"!

We see this again in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 where disobedience is placed alongside even more disturbing behaviors.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away
This is why we are told that obedience is "pleasing unto the Lord." (Colossians 3:20) If a child is continually disobedient, it will open the door to all these other things! God has given parents an instruction to teach His principles to their children because disobedience will ultimately affect their behavior, their actions and reactions, in every other area of their lives.

Let's take these same scriptures and in reverse list what behaviors are important to God.
Righteousness, Sexual purity, Obedience, Forgiveness, Loving, Giving, Kind, Truthful, Promise keeping, Merciful, Understanding (Romans 1:29-31)

Humble, Clean speech, Thankful, Holy, Honorable, Faithful, and Loves God (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
I would add modesty (Philippian 4:5; 1 Cor. 6:20), restraint (1 Peter 3:10) and gratitude (Colossians 3:15) as well.

In 2 Corinthians 12:14 the Apostle Paul put it this way, "For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." I especially like the Message Bible version.
Children shouldn't have to look out for their parents; parents look out for the children.
I "look out for" my daughter by setting an example for her to follow. In John 13:15 Jesus said, "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." In other words, what I expect of her, she should see in myself.
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
So here it is! I set an example and then she in turn sets an example! What a marvelous thought. But let me take it one step further. The guidelines, or rules, for our behavior do not change because we have become older and are now adults. We cannot ask of our children that which we are not willing to do ourselves.

No! But it is because I am an adult, because I have lived longer and had more opportunities to make choices, that I now have the wisdom and understanding, the knowledge on how to behave both in difficult situations and in common every day ones, to share with her. It is by my response that she will know how she ought to be.

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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