If you train your child today, to live a Godly life, he will never depart from it!
We set examples for our children, in everything we say and do. They watch us closely and listen intently. So, as a parent, we need to assure ourselves that we do all things in our life, in a Godly manner. We need to set boundaries for our children and keep our promises, from an early age.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
By the time that our children are 1 or 2 years of age, they have already learned how to eat, to walk and to talk. They have learned a lot, seemingly, overnight! Their early years are extremely important and we need to nurture them into respectful and obedient children and eventually, adults.
Don’t let your child talk back to you. Ever! Once you allow that to happen, because you think that it’s cute, it will only lead them to disrespect you and others, further. Don’t allow them to hit you. Ever! I cannot tell you how many times I have seen children that don’t yet know how to hold themselves up, let alone walk . . . hit, scratch or bite a parent. They obviously did not learn that from someone. It’s just in the nature of some children to be a little aggressive. Don’t give them excuses, because if you do, they will hurt others, as well. I’ve seen kids that are 3 or 4 years of age, that are still harming others, and the parents say that they are “just a baby”. I’ve seen kids throw tantrums because they did not get what they wanted. They start kicking and screaming, rolling on the ground or wherever they can throw themselves, and more often than not, they get exactly what they wanted. I understand that there are children with learning disabilities, but I’m not discussing them.
When a parent tells a child to stop being difficult, because if they don’t stop, they will be spanked or put on time out—the parent needs to keep their word and follow through. You see . . . if you DON’T keep your word, your child will take note of it. They will see how far they can get away with their approach to their objective before you really get upset.
If for example, your child has learned that Mommy always says, “if you don’t stop, I’m going to spank you” but most of the time you don’t follow through with your word, they are going to take the risk, that this time will be the same. If a child has a 90% chance of being spanked, they will still take the 10% likelihood that they won’t, because all they see is the possibility of getting their way.
So, what are your kids learning? You are teaching them that you DON’T keep your word; that words are meaningless; and that they can manipulate your decisions.
Your words truly DO matter, because if you caution a child with discipline and you don’t follow through, for whatever “justifiable” reason, in your mind, then when are they supposed to believe in your words? Are they supposed to guess, when you mean something and when you don’t?
If you tell them that they have to finish their meal before having their dessert, then follow through. They need to consume something nutritious, before they partake of that extra treat. If you tell your children that they need to do their homework before playing games or watching TV, then follow through. They need to gain knowledge before they are distracted with extra curricular activities. If you tell your children to do chores, before they can go out with their friends to the skateboard park, then follow through. They need to learn responsibility before they can play. If you tell your children that they have to work for their allowance, then follow through. If your kids are already doing chores, then have them do volunteer work at any of the nonprofits in your community or for an elderly neighbor that cannot mow their lawn or tend to their garden. Get creative. They need to learn the value of money before they take their belongings for granted.
You see . . . they are not just learning to abide by their parents’ rules, but they are gaining knowledge and wisdom, so that when they are young adults, they will treat others as God would have them to. They will know the value of people and things, but especially themselves. How can someone respect others, if they don’t first respect themselves?
The Bible teaches us that:
Proverbs 13:24 (KJV)
24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Proverbs 22:15 (KJV)
15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13 (KJV)
13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Proverbs 29:15 (KJV)
15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
The reason that you are here today, is either because you are a Christian or because you are interested in learning about Christianity. So the aforementioned scriptures should not come as a surprise to you. This is what God has laid out for parents, in order to keep their children from harm. Ultimately, isn’t your child’s salvation—along with yours and your loved ones—the most important goal in life?
John 8:47 (KJV)
47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Hear His Words and obey them. As Christians, we cannot pick and choose what scriptures we want to embrace and which we do not. Whether you fully understand God’s reason for His commandments or not, shouldn’t be of more importance to you, than the simple fact that He requires it. You need to wholly acknowledge His Word, and trust that He knows best!
2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
His will is for none to perish, so the Bible is the key to life’s journey! Read it daily with your child, as a family. Pray with them, as well. Mold them into a loving servant of God!