Responsible Parents, Responsible Children

In this Age of the Internet, electronic gadgets, wireless technology, and an ever-changing media, children are in no way short of options to shape their thinking. Over the years, repeated studies have shown that television has considerable influence over our children, not to mention the often-reported cases of children being lured online by unscrupulous individuals into sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse.
Responsible Parents
With this in mind, it is crucial that we train our children according to God’s will as instructed by the Holy Bible. Children are the future leaders of our churches and our world; thus, we must prepare them to fulfill God’s calling. Children can learn to obey God at an early age. For example, King Josiah of Israel obeyed God completely. He started to reign when he was 8 years old. 2 Kings 22:2 tells us that Josiah walked in all the ways of David his father.

Sin should not be treated casually. Many times we see people of all ages, suffering and wonder what went wrong. The commandments of God should be in the hearts of the parents; yet, when parents have not been obeying and teaching their children about God, is it possible that God will forget their children? (Hosea 4:6).

The Ten Commandments were given to us to teach our children and grandchildren. David, although God had forgiven him, had to pay the penalty for his sins. God told David that his family would suffer because of his transgressions; and sure enough his son Absalom, ultimately killed his brother. David made a half-hearted effort to correct his children, but he did not punish Absalom.

A child has every right to disobey his or her parents when the instructions are against God’s law. For example, Asa removed his mother from being queen because she made an idol in a grove. Asa cut down the idol, stamped it and finally burned it. Another biblical example of a child righteously disobeying his parent is in 1 Samuel 19:1-3 when Saul told his son Jonathan and his servants to kill David. Saul was jealous of David. Jonathan disobeyed Saul and instead warned David about Saul’s vendetta against him.

Jesus warns children to honour their parents and have respect for them. While honouring parents, children must remember that maintaining loyalty to God is an even higher priority. If you have unbelieving parents, you should respect and honour them, but not allow them to alter your devotion to God. On the other hand, it is the parents’ responsibility to care gently for their children and instruct them, even if they are disobedient.

We are commanded in Deuteronomy 6:6 that these words should be in our hearts and we should teach them diligently to our children in every aspect of life.

You shall bind them as a sign on your hand.” (Deuteronomy 6:8)

This is telling us that we should love God, think constantly about His commandments and teach them to our children morning, noon, and night. Most importantly, we are to live our daily lives by the guidelines in His Word. God emphasized over and over the importance of parents teaching their children His ways. God-fearing parents instruct their children in faith and devotions, while teaching them to pray and read the Bible.
Responsible Parents, Responsible Children<br />
From time to time, you will come into contact with children who are not focused on Christ in their lives whether at home, school, church, or in the neighbourhood. We should steer them towards God by our examples and our words. We should never allow our children to follow the world’s standards. We have to set godly standards at home for them to take to school, on the playground, or wherever they go in life.

We have to coach them on how to dress, the language they speak, their behaviour, and friends they keep. This means we need to know who their friends are. Many times we allow our children to attend sleepovers without giving thought to the character of their friends, or more importantly, the parents. This is a very negligent and possibly dangerous action for a parent to take, concerning their children.

The first Commandment with promise is for children to honour their mother and father that they may live a long life (Exodus 20:12). We need to encourage our children to become wise, instructing them as David taught Solomon, his son, to seek after wisdom (Proverbs 4). This encouragement may have prompted Solomon to ask God for wisdom. All wisdom comes from God and can be passed on from parents to children, if we take the time to teach them.

We can expect conflict as believing Christians who keep God’s commandments and worship on the 7th Day Sabbath (Saturday). However, this should never lead us to compromise and encourage our children to break the Sabbath by taking them to sporting activities, or parties held by families and friends, school events, and other such functions due to peer pressure or some need we feel to make our children ‘fit-in’ with social expectations to please others. God should be pleased first because He is our priority.

From an early age, we as parents, must set the example and say no to our families and friends when their events prevent us or our children from obeying the commandments of God. If we allow ourselves or our children to participate in such activities on the Sabbath, or annual Holy Days, our children will want to take advantage of this ‘exception to the commandments’ from time to time and may continue this disobedience into their adulthood.

When children get older and begin to really listen to sermons at church, when they hear the teaching that the Sabbath Day is a holy day of rest, but see conflicting behaviour at home, they may begin to think there are double standards and become confused. This may contribute to them losing interest because the world out there is an easier choice.
Also, as parents we don’t want to pressure them, for fear of losing them, so we back off on instruction, leaving them on their own, living and dressing as the world. They pierce and tag their bodies in every possible place, which leads them to forgetting church and the Sabbath. These children are now thinking that going to church is their parents’ choice, which they don’t have to follow. We hope that we will not lose them to the world forever, and pray for God to save them before it is too late.

We are told in Proverbs 13:24 to discipline our children. As loving parents, it’s not easy to discipline our children; however, lack of discipline puts a parent’s love in question, because it shows a lack of concern for our children’s character development. If we don’t discipline our children starting from a young age, they will grow up without a clear understanding of right and wrong—with no direction to their lives. Discipline is an act of love.

Children trust adults and through that trust their capacity to have faith in God grows. God holds parents and adults who influence young children accountable for how they affect the little ones ability to trust. Three ways which we could cause these little ones to lose faith: tempting them, neglecting or demeaning them, and teaching them false doctrine.

Let’s be responsible parents and realize that if we want to have children who are responsible and put God first in their lives, as parents, we must put God first in our lives.

Comments

  • Fillmorejames

    do u think children should hep their parents with their home as they get older

  • I think they should. The 5th commandment is to honour your mother and father — there is no expiration date on that command.

  • Pinnock_pauline

    Excellent article, God bless.

  • k4dford

    just want to share a letter our son wrote to us many years ago…

    Mom & Dad,

    > Dearest mom & dad, first of all, I would like you to read this
    > together. I don’t want to see a division- a wall between us so to
    > speak- that would only end up short of the best.

    > All these years, I have been brought up as a single son. I received
    > everything I would need and even learned some things you have never
    > taught verbally, but as I see you everyday or so, I pick up some great
    > deal of lessons. Those non-verbal things would be elaborated later.
    >
    >  Well, I would like to thank you so very much for my upbringing. I
    > could never imagine a different me if I have been raised a little
    > differently. YOU ARE THE BEST FATHER AND MOTHER a boy could have.
    > Everyday you would teach me a thing or two (basic things like meals,
    > manners and the sort). But that doesn’t stop at that. You support me,
    > trying your best to give me the best help I could get, you managed to
    > get me through. Assignments, lullabies ( oh, yes, I miss them),
    > lambingan, advice, studies, valued opinions, material things like DSL,
    > PS2, cellphone, the most advanced (for our budget) PC…the list goes
    > on and on.
    >
    > However, the best gift, blessing, pamana, legacy, mark, etc that you
    > have given me is LOVE. Yes, love.
    > Even though we don’t speak often these days because of a lot of
    > things, one thing is clear to my heart, YOU LOVE ME. LOVE REIGNS IN
    > OUR HOME.
    >
    > Now, it seems that time is flying so fast.
    > Everything is shifting to a higher gear and society and myself prompts
    > me to try to be a man. That is why I am always asking questions.
    > Forgive me if it gets annoying for my role models are you. 
    >
    > I always try to understand the point of tying to protect me. I am also
    > aware that in my arrogance, I fail to see the point that I am trying
    > my hardest to understand. That could only mean one thing, that I am
    > not yet good enough. As much as  I would want to do the Christian way
    > of understanding, I end up becoming a boy again.> 
    >
    > Forgive me when I act so selfish. Forgive my immaturity. Forgive my
    > unbecomingness. If you could only hear my heart shout right now “I
    > want to hug you and hold you tight! I need the feeling (always) of our
    > small family intact and safe!”> 
    >
    > But as always, I grow short. I feel shy and even embarrassed at the
    > word that makes up the world. But let me say it now, once again, even
    > in writing, I LOVE YOU.> 
    >
    > If it was only possible that we would be always together, then what a
    > ride it could have been. Yet, it is not reality. We are somewhat far
    > away but I know that our hearts are always together. That is how I
    > learned the non-verbal virtues of independence, strength, reason,
    > faith, understanding and perseverance. Little did you know that even
    > without mentioning these too often, I have learned these all from
    > you-my beloved parents I am this good because of you.
    >
    > No one, nothing could replace the things we had together. We are the
    > best-we are rocking good!
    > Nobody could have first told me the fundamentals of life-right from
    > wrong, safe from hazardous. Nobody could have supported me all through
    > touch roads of life, except you. Knowing that we have been always
    > faithful to one another and to the God that sanctifies us, I could
    > never trade anything na ang kapalit ay kayo.

    > You mean a lot to me. As your only son, I would try my best, all my
    > heart, body and soul and mind to keep our family up and loving. I love
    > you and I thank the Lord that I have you as my parents.
    >
    >   All the deepest and unconditional love,

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