Teach Your Children

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org

Most of us have been to the circus and have seen a lion tamer in an iron barred cage with ferocious African lions. When the circus buys a new lion, the lion tamer would not dare turn his back on an untrained lion. The lion tamer would probably spend months with the new lion to train him.

Our children are much more valuable than circus lions. How much time and training do we spend with our children?

There is a proverb in the Bible that says: "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV).

The word "train" is Strongís Concordance #2596 and is defined as: "to initiate or discipline:--dedicate, train up."

Websterís Dictionary defines the word "train" as: "to coach in or accustom to some mode of behavior or performance. To prepare physically, as with a regimen, make fit."

A synonym of "train" is to "teach".

We must take the time to teach our children. How will our children learn values if we donít teach them values? How will our children know right from wrong, fairness, how to treat other people, if we donít teach them?

If we donít teach our children values, the world will. They will learn from watching television and will learn their values from cartoons such as: Bevus and Butthead.

Rose Kennedy once stated: "You can be successful at everything, but if you do not succeed with your children, then you are a failure."

We all want to be successful and we want our children and grandchildren to be successful. How can we do this? What source of information can we turn to, to use to teach our children? The answer is the Bible.

We are going to look at three ways to teach your children values.

The Ten Commandments

The ten commandments were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. These commandments are part of Godís perfect righteous character. He wants man to share in His righteous character and to become perfect like Him. Matthew 5:48 (NKJV) "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

The more we try to keep Godís law, the better our lives will be. We are blessed if we keep them and if we break the commandments then there are penalties that will follow. An example: If you rob a bank, then you will spend time in prison for your crime of stealing.

Obviously, we donít want our children to rob banks, or to steal from other children or other people. We donít want our children to bring shame upon our family name.

We need to teach our children the "ten commandments".

Letís see what God says about this in Deuteronomy 11 beginning in verse 1 (NKJV): "Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always." Verses 18-21: "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. {19} "You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. {20} "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, {21} "that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth."

Did you notice the blessings for keeping Godís commandments? In verse 21: "that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied".

It takes time to teach. Children learn many things through repetition. Set up a regular time period to teach (Similar to school). Letís say, Saturday morning after breakfast. We did this for years with our children as they were growing up. They did not always appreciate it then, and they wondered why dad would do this every Saturday morning. But now, my children are grown up with children of their own and I think they realize how important it was that we spent this premium time together as a family discussing spiritual principles and godly values. During these sessions was a time that we would teach and quiz our children about the ten commandments. If one of the kids did not remember one of the commandments, they had to make a trip to the living room and look at a ten commandment plaque that my wife had on the living room wall. After a period of time all of my children learned the ten commandments.

The Book of Proverbs

Each Saturday morning we would go through one of the chapters of the book of Proverbs. We went through the book of Proverbs starting from the front, then the back and I believe even sideways.

The Book of Proverbs were written by King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. Letís notice the first seven verses of Proverbs 1: "The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: {2} To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding,{4} "To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion; {5} A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, {6} To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Did you notice what you can gain from this book? Wisdom and instruction, understanding, knowledge and discretion;

wise counsel and the fear of the Lord.. These are important values that we need and our children need. If we teach these principles from the Book of Proverbs, not only will our children learn, but we parents will also learn them.

Letís look at a few more proverbs:

Proverbs 11:1 (NKJV) "Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight."

Proverbs 11:13-15 (NKJV) "A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. {14} Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. {15} He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, But one who hates being surety is secure."

We need to teach our children to be honest, not to tell secrets, talk to several people about a problem before making a major decision and be careful before signing on the dotted line for a loan for another person.

What a fantastic book! The Proverbs gives us guidelines about how to act in every circumstance.

Set a Right Example!

What is the most important way for parents to teach their children? By their personal example! There is an old saying: monkey see, monkey do. Children love to mimic their parents. My grandson loves to wear genes with a belt and a big buckle. Why, because this is what his father wears. Notice how your children will copy you in doing things. They are chips off of the old block.

Be careful in what you say and do around your children. If you use certain words, then your children will pick up on it and use them at time that might embarrass you. If you cheat on your income tax and brag about it, what are you going to say when your child brags about cheating on a test at school.

You have heard the expression that some parents tell their children: Do as I say and not as I do. These parents are only fooling themselves. Remember children will follow your example more than what you say.

James Baldwin (1924-87), U.S. author, is quoted as saying: "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."

"What the vast majority of American children needs is to stop being pampered, stop being indulged, stop being chauffeured, stop being catered to. In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings." by: Ann Landers (b.1918) U.S. columnist.

In Conclusion:

Being a parent has great responsibilities.

We must teach our children right values, to respect other people and their property.

We can do this by teaching them Godís ten commandments and instruct them from the Book of Proverbs.

The most important thing that a parent can do for his children is to set a right example.

We must train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.


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