How To Raise Your Children According To The Bible (Part 2)
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
Disclaimer: “The words of this devotional are not intended to serve as a to do manual nor a step by step child rearing manual. The information contained below is NOT guaranteed to work on all children. Each parent must consult with one another in unity and understand their child’s unique personality and interweave their principles into a manner that the child understands. Not everyone will agree with these principles but the bible is the final authority and what I follow.”
There are many different things that parents must understand before they attempt to embark into the realm of parentage. I will attempt to show things that are proven successes and things that are failures. Join us as we address How To Raise Your Children According To The Bible.
II. Enforce Accountability
In our text we read Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” There are many things in these texts that imply accountability:
I. “in the way he should go” & “but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” – In this word we can extrapolate that there are:
- Consequences For Errors – This implies that there is a right way and one will endure adverse actions or the way that he didn’t go.
- Culpability For Errors – This implies that there is a burden of guilt, shame or embarrassment as a result of poor decisions.
- Consequences or Excuses – This gives no provisions or excuses since doing the right thing is NOT conditional but correct.
Many parents today do not really understand the importance of authority. Since they do not have a tight grasp on this they are incapable of enforcing accountability. You see accountability and authority are brother and sister. Authority sits on the throne while accountability takes it’s rightful place at the right hand of authority. Where you find authority, there will be accountability & where you have accountability there will be an authority to be accountable to in that regard.
So how is accountability not enforced in homes today? I believe that there are a few things that parents neglect to do to enforce accountability:
- Establish Ordinances (Rules) – The breakdown of authority in the home leads many parents to “shun” setting rules. A home without rules, for children, is like a boat without a sail or paddles. Free and adrift without any type of control that will eventually crash and be destroyed. Rules establish control and set order.
- Establish Order (Regulations) – The lack of rules will lead to parents losing control of their children and being unable to correct them. Regulations help parents correct their children in real time with the rules that are at home when the family is away from home. You can’t expect a child to behave in public when they have never be made to do so in private. This is unfair to both parent and child and is also insanity.
- Establish Ostracism (Ramifications) – The lack of real time control will sometimes make parents attempt to resort to this step. This is the actual discipline or punishment of the child. These can be physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual. The child must have been taught the rules first. Then given the opportunity to make a decision to choose right or wrong before they are disciplined. This is God’s order!
Here is a typical scenario where these three accountability measures can be applied. See where each of these measures can/were/could be/should be applied:
Mother and father take their children out to dinner to a classy restaurant for the family’s anniversary. The three children are 16, 8 and 5 years old. The 16 year old, Emily, is their eldest daughter which normally does the majority of the child rearing in the absence of the parents. The 8 year old, Zach, and 5 year old, Tom, are both boys that are often punished and separated for horseplay and fighting. The family has their Sunday best on at this restaurant and have all decided to order a similar meal. Emily makes it known that she is not happy with the selections and begins to display and attitude with eye rolling and loud sighs. Zach jumps into the drama and says “I want to order what Emily is getting” and then Tom loudly yells “I wanna go back home.” Emily yells at the boys “Shut up, don’t you see that we are trying to have a nice dinner.” The boys begin to get upset and cry loudly and ask for mom to hold them. Mom and dad asks them to return to their seats but they begin to act out even more until the parents give in to their demands and order them ice cream before dinner.
Looking back at this very wild and crazy scenario many people will not even see the lack of leadership while many will think that this is very disorderly. Let’s break all of this down and see what is going on and how it can be fixed.
A. (Mother and father take their children out to dinner to a classy restaurant for the family’s anniversary.) Parents should probably refrain from taking their children out in a social public setting like this without establishing control. The bible says in Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” You will only embarrass them and yourself by doing this.
B. (The three children are 16, 8 and 5 years old.) There is nothing wrong here but you have three different children in different dispensations of time and life. This is and will present a challenge to most parents that haven’t learned to establish control.
C. (The 16 year old, Emily, is their eldest daughter which normally does the majority of the child rearing in the absence of the parents.) Not a very good idea! You are the parents, not the oldest child. Many parents make this mistake! It’s convenient for you because you have a free babysitter. However, have you ever considered that this young adult may not want to be in this role? She is being forced into a leadership position that she may not be ready to assume. One parent needs to be around to rear the children and be a tangible representation of parental authority.
D. (The 8 year old, Zach, and 5 year old, Tom, are both boys that are often punished and separated for horseplay and fighting.) Since this behavior has been addressed before without success then there needs to be more severe consequences until this is adequately resolved. This will only continue to get worse until the will of the children are broken and their souls understand that it is NOT acceptable.
E. (The family has their Sunday best on at this restaurant and have all decided to order a similar meal.) I am concerned about this choice of dining establishment and selection of clothing. It would be wise to assume that since the boys show no restraint from horseplay that this would probably end very badly with their clothing ruined. However, the parents did do one thing that I see was a success. They informed the family that they would all order the same meal. The parents took the lead on communication and gave the children information prior to the event. In so doing, you avoid the “Are we there yet” questions times 200. Did you notice that the family all decided to order the same thing?
F. (Emily makes it known that she is not happy with the selections and begins to display and attitude with eye rolling and loud sighs.) The parents allow their eldest daughter to display her disrespectful behavior unchecked while the boys are constantly punished. This lack of accountability makes her the authority in the home, especially since she does most of the parenting in the absence of the parents. This should be dealt with delicately but immediately so that the boys will respect the parents as their pack leaders.
G. (Zach jumps into the drama and says “I want to order what Emily is getting” and then Tom loudly yells “I wanna go back home.” ) There are multiple things happening at once in this scenario but they are all about to cause a huge adverse behavioral nightmare. Zach recognizes Emily as the authority and begins to mimic her behavior in defiance to their parents. His reasoning is “If she can do it and get away with it, so can I.” Tom Begins to realize and sense that this whole scenario is becoming out of control and seeks to return to where he is familiar and feels safe. Tom is not shy about telling what he feels and could potentially cause utter embarrassment for the family by divulging family secrets.
H. (Emily yells at the boys “Shut up, don’t you see that we are trying to have a nice dinner.”) In her inexperience as a leader she begins to discipline them as best she can but misses the pieces of accountability that would make them see her as the leader. They break contact with her as the authority when she yells at them and reconnect with the loving mother and father since Emily shows frustration when they need love.
I. (The boys begin to get upset and cry loudly and ask for mom to hold them.) As earlier stated, the boys seek affection from mom and dad and know that if they cry out loud enough that the parents will return into a loving embrace with them and restore the wrongs. However, this IS the wrong time or that kind of behavior.
J. (Mom and dad ask them to return to their seats but they begin to act out even more until the parents give in to their demands and order them ice cream before dinner.) We see here that the parents are again disobeyed and disrespected by the children. This behavior is in rebellion towards what the parents have requested. Why? They can’t get their ways and they believe that being annoying is the only way to receive what they want. Why? Because it has happened before. Shame on the parents. If you give an inch the children will take a mile.
How could this have been different?
- Set Rules & Boundaries – “These are the rules. You better follow them”
- Set Regulations & Consequences – “If you break the rules, we WILL have problems.”
- Set Punishment & Re-Instruction Time – “You have broken the rules, now I must __” & “Do you understand why I did what I did to you?”
- Allow For Restoration – “You really broke our trust in you. What are going to do to gain it back?” “We still love you but if you break the rules again the punishment will happen again but we both love you very much and we don’t want you to think that this is okay. DO you understand?” “Come and give me a hug.” Don’t give your affection to the child until after they understand that they are wrong and you have their best interest in mind. This will reinstitute that you’re in charge but will also show that your love is stronger than that what they have done to you. This is what the Father does to us! We receive the blessings of the restored fellowship once we acknowledge our wrong and His Holiness. In tomorrow’s devotional we will cover the next aspect of raising children in a Godly manner. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.