3 Keys To Raising Godly Children
Raising kids is one of the most daunting tasks a human could undertake.
On an individual level, you are responsible to care for and teach this human being that will enter the world. Hopefully, they do well and thrive.
But on a massive scale, we are each making our contribution to how the future generations will behave, how they will see the world, and the decisions they will make. This is no light task.
I look at my kids. Naomi who is 8, and I see this curious creative little girl: very hard-headed, determined, and convincing. I wonder, what kind of leader she will be. I look at my son Boston, wildly adventurous, fun, the life of the party, but tender-hearted. I wonder what kind of life of adventure he will lead.
The amazing thing about being a Christian is that we have the foundation for parenting laid out to us by the creator himself.
It is good to pay attention to society, trends, new studies, but there are age-old battle-tested divine truths that we can rely on when raising our kids.
Our aim should be to give them a solid rock on which to stand… a foundation that will withstand all the storms of life. I want to take a look at 3 of those I see in the book of proverbs.
The entire book of proverbs is an essential instruction for young people. It is a playbook in what to teach your children.
1 | FEAR THE LORD
Proverbs 1:7 | “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
This will seem so simple, but I cannot stress this enough. Teach your kids to FEAR THE LORD… to KNOW God, and to acknowledge him as the great creator of all things.
Not just so that they will be saved… but so that they will be grounded in the deepest truths that exist. Give them a Biblical worldview. Attach them to the creator and teach them how the creator see’s the creation.
It is in scripture that we realize our true value, the value of others, the purpose of life, the way through struggle, and the keys to thriving.
Any way of seeing the world short of God’s worldview will slowly disintegrate into a subjective way of viewing the world.
If there is no ultimate authority of what is true, then truth is left to be created by flawed humans. THIS is exactly the reason we see such destruction in our world.
This is why CHILDRENS CHURCH is so critical. This is why YOUTH MINISTRY is so critical.
The fear of the Lord cannot just be taught, it MUST be modeled.
2 | DISCIPLINE
Proverbs 3:11-12 | “My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves the one he loves, as a father the so in whom he delights.”
This is one of the toughest jobs as a parent because disciplining our children often costs us so much.
Sometimes parents don’t want to discipline their kids because they are afraid it will hurt them, but the loving discipline of a parent is much more gentle than the harsh lessons of the world.
Count the cost. In most situations, if I don’t teach them they can’t act that way, or they don’t always get their way, they will pay dearly in the long run.
I have learned that we can’t be too concerned about the immediate. We have to see the long run.
Make your child tough and resilient. If you raise a soft child, the bluntness of the world will crush them. Get them ready. And to a degree, they need to be ready for the struggle, galvanized in a way.
I’m not talking about just being harsh and creating a hardened cynical person. It’s more about teaching resiliency. Like an immune system… in the right doses, germs actually make someone’s immune system stronger.
They must be exposed to being told no and facing consequences for their actions. If not, like a weak immune system, when they encounter the real thing in the world it could wipe them out.
3 | TELL THE TRUTH
Proverbs 28:13 | “No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
Deceit is the default position of people. Which is why we have to cultivate a culture of honesty.
Teach your children while they are in your care, that telling the truth, no matter what they have done, is the key to receiving mercy.
Kids do wrong things all the time and when they do, treat this as an opportunity to make them be honest.
We need to reward honesty, not just because we don’t want our kids to lie to us, but in the life they have coming, truth is the only way to freedom.
If they are honest about what they’ve done or what they are going through, they have hope to get through it and learn from it.
If we don’t reward honesty, we cultivate a culture of deceit.
And in the long run, deceit will get them trapped in so many impossible situations in life… but if they learn to be honest early, they will stand a chance at exposing what is wrong, and getting help when they need it.
Church of the Harvest + Youth America
If you would like to watch Pastor Grant Pankratz talk about parenting, click here.