Training Children

Text: Proverbs 22:6

The training of children is done in two ways – by instruction (teaching them what is right) and by discipline (punishing them for doing what is wrong). Parents are responsible for training their children and must take this work seriously. Failing to train children in the right way will bring shame upon the parents (Proverbs 29:15). So let us consider how to train our children.

Primary Responsibility of the Parents

  • Parents are responsible for training their children (Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 5:10) – bring them up in the Lord
  • Others can help with the training of children (2 Timothy 1:5) – but ideally, this should be secondary
  • This responsibility should be taken seriously (Matthew 18:5-6) – if, by our parenting, we stand between our children and the Lord, we will be held accountable for that

Training Through Instruction

  • A secular education is important – but a spiritual education is far more important (Matthew 6:33)
  • The primary source of spiritual instruction must be the word of God (2 Timothy 3:15)
  • This instruction must be regular and consistent (Deuteronomy 6:6-9) – spiritual instruction given to children should not be limited to Bible classes at the local church
  • Instruction must prepare them for those who would promote error and wickedness – human philosophy (Colossians 2:8), “science” (1 Timothy 6:20), mockers (2 Peter 3:3), peer pressure (Proverbs 1:10-15)

Training Through Discipline

  • Instruction alone is not enough – a rod of discipline is necessary (Proverbs 22:15); this implies a degree of pain that is inflicted to reinforce the instruction that has been given (Proverbs 20:30)
  • Discipline must be carried out in love, not in anger/hatred (Hebrews 12:10-11; Proverbs 13:24)
  • It is to be done in hope that the child will be better for it (Proverbs 19:18)
  • The goal must always be to direct the child in the way of truth (Proverbs 23:13-14)

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