How do we tell our children that immorality and dishonesty are wrong when our rulers and many significant adults do both?
How can we raise godly children in an ungodly world that ignores civility, decency, Christian values and traditional values? How can we succeed as parents in today’s world of violence, drugs, promiscuity, strong peer-pressure and moral breakdown?
We are in the last days. We are experiencing the world as outlined in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. More than ever before, the parent has a lot to contend with in the process of raising godly children.
Thank God that where sin abounds, grace abounds to see us through. The grace of God abounds for us today to know how we can raise godly children in these terrible times. The following questions and answers will provide a wealth of information on how you can raise godly children in this present time.
1. What advice will you give young parents concerning how to raise their children in a godly way?
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward (Psalm 127:3)
*Children belong to God. He gave them to you to nurture them so that they can fulfill the divine purpose God has designed for each one of them on earth.
*Children are your greatest mission field. As arrows in the hands of a warrior, are sons born in one’s youth (Psalm 127:4). If you sharpen them spiritually, they will be strong against all earthly temptations and will fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. If they are blunt spiritually, they amount to nothing in life but a disgrace to you and to God’s kingdom.
*Your children will learn more from the values you show them by example than those you teach with your words.
*You are your child’s most effective teacher and the best way to teach is by modelling, that is practice what you preach. The Bible also says that we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8). Thus the training begins with you:
♦Keep your relationship right with God and with your spouse.
♦Live in complete obedience to the word of God.
♦Be prayerful and build your spirit-man by regular study and meditation on God’s word.
♦Let the fruit of the Spirit be fully manifested in you.
♦Have strong faith in God
♦Love God and love your neighbor.
Parenting is a process of nurturing, caring and helping the children to have a healthy growth, to develop their maximum potential, to become mature and stable individuals that will contribute positively to the society. Parents are the first people to stimulate their children. The following tasks must be done.
♣Training the will
One of the most important tasks in molding children to be intelligent, loving, men and women of good character and responsible citizens, is to teach them to have will power. The will is the mental power by which one controls one’s thoughts, actions and decisions. Training the will simply means to train the child to always think right, act right and to make the right decisions.
Training starts at birth and continues till adulthood. You must have proper understanding of your child’s developmental stage and what is possible and appropriate. In the growth of the child, there are ages that are most sensitive to the development of certain habits or virtues.
Habit/virtue Sensitive period
Order 1-3 years
Obedience 3-6 years
Generosity 6-9 years
Diligence 8-12 years
Solidarity 12-15 years
Loyalty 14-18 years
Order is taught right from the first month. You must take care to be orderly in the child’s meals, sleep routine and hygiene. Ages 1-3 are the sensitive period for tidiness. Teach him/her that each object has its place. Play with him at being tidy with his toys and clothes. Motivate him and he will easily acquire the habit. When you teach him to keep things in order, it will become progressively easier for him to be orderly.
Teach and model the skills to your children. Show good example in your attitude, behavior and actions because children learn more from these than your words.
♣ Character Traits
Know your child’s personality, behavioral style, strengths and weaknesses. Desirable character traits, such as honesty, truthfulness, faithfulness, trust worthiness, obedience, being teachable, temperance, patience, tolerance, loyalty, moral purity, discipline, courage, endurance, self control, diligence, being considerate and generosity can be taught from infancy.
♣ Self worth and Acceptance
Right from infancy, let the children know that they are God’s children. Teach them to love and obey God’s commandments and the blessings they have in Christ Jesus. The knowledge of God will give your children self worth (see Daniel 11:32). When they receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the Spirit of excellence will dwell in them. As they grow spiritually and acknowledge God in all they do, they will find favor and acceptance with God and with man.
Joseph was highly favored even as a slave in Egypt, because his father taught him godly principles (Genesis 39:1-20). Your children are holy seeds with the potential for greatness. They need to be nurtured.
…to be continued
Have a great week Chutzpah fam,
About the author: Dr Caroline Umebese is an Associate Professor at the University of Lagos, a Pastor at the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM HQ) and a mother of four with a passion for young people.