By Jimmy Tuten
Parents are instructed to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). This is the most important way to bring up a child. Children cannot be trained right unless the father is right. The father will be right only if he gives attention to reading and studying the Bible. What does training a child in the instruction of the Lord involve?
1. Respect for parental authority. Children must obey their parents in all things (Col. 3:20). Respect for authority begins in the home. Failure to teach children proper respect for authority is failure to do what God commands. The fault of the child many times begins with the parent. To rear a child in the “nurture” of the Lord involves “discipline.” Failure to discipline is to hate the child (Prov. 13:24). This training must begin early while hope exists (Prov. 19:18). It is worthwhile to save a child from hell (Prov. 24:13-14). Training a child to respect authority may seem grievous; “nevertheless afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby” (Heb. 12:9-11).
2. Respect for governmental authority. Every child needs this respect (Rom. 13:1-7). Since such powers are ordained of God, failure to respect them is to resist God’s ordinance and to receive damnation. This respect is not only for wrath (fear of penal consequences), but also for the conscience’s sake (it is your duty, whatever might ensue.) A child must be taught to be a good citizen who respects the laws of the land. Laws are for the good of mankind. “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work (Tit. 3:1). Many lives would be lengthened if people would obey these laws. We are to obey the government as long as such obedience does not require us to disobey God (Acts 5:29).
3. Respect for Divine authority. The Bible is the Word of God and the means by which God speaks to us today (1 Cor. 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 2:13). Jesus Christ has all power and all authority (Matt. 28:18). Recognition of this will cause the serious minded parent to teach his children the Bible, knowing that it will furnish him completely unto every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). All that pertains to life and godliness is found in the Word of God (2 Pet. 1:3). If a man speaks, he is to speak as the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11). To go outside of its bounds results in one not having God (2 Jn. 9). Teach your children these verses. Impress upon their tender minds that there is a God, that Jesus is God’s Son and that He died for their sins. Show them the need to respect the Lord’s authority by obeying His commands in order to be saved (Heb. 5:8-9).
Train your children now. Before you know it they will be out from under your control and under the guidance of others. In some college they will have their faith challenged. The beliefs that are now so cherished may be wrecked unless they are firmly rooted in God’s truth. Teach them how to become Christians and how to live in respect for all authority (Jn. 3:16; Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38). As long as they live and have their being they will be held accountable by God (2 Cor. 5: 10-11). Among the best home furnishings are children.
Guardian of Truth XXX: 16, p. 485
August 21, 1986