• July 12, 2016
  1. Training children is one of the most difficult duties of Christian parents, and the Word of God has much instruction for us. But one of the first things we must remember when it comes to our children is Psalm 127:3: “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” In other words, our children, first of all, belong to God and are a wonderful gift given by Him.  Therefore, children must be loved and diligently trained for God’s glory! Proverbs 22:6 reads: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  This text not only commands us to train our children, but it also comforts us with the promise that when the child is old he shall not depart from the way he was taught.  Christian parents, who take their calling seriously to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, may find comfort in this text.
  2. The chief principle in the training of our children is that of discipline. The word “train” in the Hebrew means “to narrow” not to broaden or let loose, but to discipline. It’s in the fallen nature of every child to walk the broad way of sin, because, like every parent, sin resides in the heart.  The ungodly philosophy of the world says let the children go their own way so they can explore the different avenues in this world and decide for themselves what they like or dislike.  But Scripture teaches us that our children, just like parents, must be governed by God’s Word so they do not walk the broad road of destruction.  God has given us children in order that we might raise godly offspring for the glory and praise of our God.  Malachi 2:15: “He seeks godly offspring.” And so fathers are exhorted in Ephesians 6:4: “Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
  3. The 5th Commandment teaches parents that we must love our children, even as it exhorts children to honor their father and mother. Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 104 reads: “What does God require in the Fifth Commandment? That I show all honor, love and faithfulness to my father and mother, and to all in authority over me, submit myself with due obedience to all their good instruction and correction, and also bear patiently with their infirmities, since it is God’s will to govern us by their hand.” According to the 5th Commandment, Christian parents are responsible before God to raise their children with “good instruction and correction.”  The Lord primarily uses the means of good instruction and correction from Christian parents to teach covenant children the ways of God from infancy to adulthood.  And it’s normally these children that the Lord is pleased to save and therefore they do not depart from the faith.  The word “child” in Proverbs 22:6 is used in a broad sense and it refers to a child from infancy to adolescence.  And so the text is a call for Christian parents to love their children of all ages by exercising loving discipline, leading them in the narrow way, and applying good instruction and correction in teaching them to walk in the ways of the Lord.  This is exactly what we vowed when our children were baptized.  Notice the baptismal vow:
  4. First: Do you acknowledge that, although our children are conceived and born in sin and therefore subject to condemnation, they are holy in Christ and, as members of His Church, ought to be baptized? Answer: I do. Second: Do you promise to instruct your child in the principles of our Christian faith as revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and as summarized in the Heidelberg Catechism; and do you promise to pray with and for your child, to set an example of piety and godliness before him (her) and to endeavor by all the means of God’s appointment to bring him (her) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Answer: I do. (Directory of Worship)
  5. Parents, are you faithful to your Christian vows before God? Which way are you training your children? Are you training them in the way of Jesus Christ, the narrow way of life everlasting?  Do you teach them their need for a Savior because of their inborn and actual sin?  Do you teach them that they must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation?  “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).  Do you teach them that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone? Do you teach them to take delight in living according to the commandments of God in all good works out of a heart of gratitude for such a wondrous salvation?  Do you teach them to forsake unrighteousness and follow God’s commandments?  Do you teach them the Scriptures, the Confessions, Worship, and Prayer?  Do you pray with and for them, and set a godly example of piety and godliness by obeying God’s commands?
  6. We must teach our children that in all things, whether we eat or drink, we do all for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). We should not have a home where our children learn that it’s only in church on Sunday that we do things for the glory of God, but that every moment of every day in all of life we must do all things in the service of Christ from a grateful heart. Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Category: Scott Henry

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