Lo, children are the heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalms 127:3-5).
Abraham and Sarah sought a child that would bless all the nations of the earth. They sought a godly seed that would inherit the earth whose legacy would be so great that the number of offspring would be innumerable (Genesis 22:18). Should we have any less of a vision for our children? NO. This should not just be the desire of Abraham and Sarah but should be our desire too.
Young children are egocentric; they see the world from only one point of view—their own. There is an alarming increase in the number of crimes committed by children and adolescents. These crimes are becoming increasingly violent. Parents need to be concerned with these influences to which their children are exposed. Moral education can lead children to grow in maturity and discipline so that they will be able to “act intelligently and prudently whenever they meet difficulties”.
The family is the first school of human values, where we learn the wise use of freedom. It is where we first learn to relate to others, to listen to share, to be patient, and show respect, to help one another and live as one. God is concerned that His people bring up godly children He wants the faith to be passed from generation to generation.
KEY ELEMENTS TO GODLY PARENTING
- God puts the emphasis upon the building of a healthy, stable marriage as the key to training godly children. A good family is the best gift that any parent can make to the moral and spiritual development of their children. If you are to have a good marriage, it must have a good beginning. The word of the New Testament (2Cor. 6:14-16) is that we are not to be unequally yoked with a non-believer. Marriage with an unsaved person is an unequal yoke for a believer. The first concern that you must have if you are going to give to your children the right kind of home is marrying a person who fears and serves the living God.
- Establish the right kind of relationship. Although children love their parents individually, what is actually bigger is a relationship that exists between the parents. The relationship that exists between the father and the mother, springs out the family relationship that exists not only between Mummy and Daddy but also between the siblings and the child/parent relationship. Therefore every dimension of the relationships that exist in the family springs up between that which exists between the husband and the wife. In addition, parents need to provide “positive and prudent” sex education to their children to ensure they appreciate the way their body is created and respect the complementary design of being created male and female by God (Genesis 1:26-27).
- Maintain the relationship through teaching and exemplary training of the children to love God using the undiluted word of God (Prov 22:6; Deut.6:5-9), be their first teachers to lead them to Christ (Prov.11:30), inculcate prayer routines, share personal salvation experiences, etc. Furthermore, teach the children to love their neighbors and also reconcile and settle matters quickly with friends (Matt 5:23-26). Vengeance is of the Lord, so children should be admonished to seek peace with all men (Romans 12:16-21).
- Get to know your children. Cultivate a moderate habit of taking the children out for holiday or vacation, funfairs that will build their physical, social development, and intellectual quotient thereby keeping them abreast of happenings in the society; engage them in educative symposiums and religious programs as well to ensure mental and psychological development. Know their favorite colors, fashion outfits, call, text or send a mail, and buy them lovely presents during their birthdays; know their friends for proper guidance and mentoring.
- Dedicate time to your children to know their challenging and weak moments, correct their wrong choice of handling issues and provide godly parenting suggestions and instructions to strengthen and guide them in the ways of the Lord. Avoid using current job engagement or personal business trips to create a large communication gap with the children.
- Above all, ask God to help you to be godly parents, worthy of emulation to enable you train godly children. If a child is properly trained in the ways of God, he or she will not depart from it. This cannot be a training of ritual but one of relationship (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4).
It is paramount to note that by their fruit, you will recognize them. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit (Matthew 7: 16-20). Children in our 21st century can grow like Jesus did in the 1st Century (Luke 2:52). Let us arise and rebuild like Nehemiah, the wall of godly nation (children) that will no longer be in disgrace (Neh. 2:17).