LESSON 7 16/10/2016
RAISING CHILDREN WITHIN THE FAMILY
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 270, 271
Devotional Reading: Gen. 18:17-19
Topic For Adults: Avoid Parenting By Proxy
Topic For Youths: You Are Not Wiser Than Your Parents
Topic For Intermediates: Accept Your Parents’ Training
Scripture Lesson: Deut. 6:4-9; Isa. 50:4; Acts 7:22; Col. 3:1; Prov. 22:15; 13:24; Eph. 6:1-3
Memory Verse: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov. 22:6) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Children Obey Your Parents
There is nothing that brings pain to the parents than seeing that their children are not obeying them. This gives parents heart sore and they are not always happy. This even hinders some to commit themselves to all that the children need in life. If children are aware of this fact, they should, therefore, determine to be obeying their parents’ instructions and guidance. They should decide to be a source of joy and not of sorrow and shame to their parents. They must do things that will bring prayers out of their parents’ mouth to them and not curse. It is then, and only then, that God’s promise of good life and longevity will come to pass in their lives.
Point of Emphasis: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is the right thing.
Prayer Point: Lord, give me and all my children the Spirit of total obedience to Your word and instructions.
This week’s lesson centres on one of the most important responsibilities of parents to their children that are often neglected and pushed to the church, the schools and the larger society. This responsibility is the training and raising up the children in a godly way so as to be able to fulfil their God-given purposes in life.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
PART 1: SPIRITUAL TRAINING (DEUT. 6:4-9)
It is a known fact that the spiritual controls the physical. This is the more reason why the first aspect of the upbringing of the children that parents must give adequate attention to is the spiritual training of the children. It should be known that there is no child who will want to pray, go to church, read the Bible, love God on his or her own accord. It is the duty of parents to do all within their means to inculcate spiritual virtues into their children.
Many parents fail in this aspect by thinking within themselves that the children would be taught spiritual lessons in the children department or at school by the secular teacher. This is an error which must be avoided by all parents. From the passage, God himself understood that parents cannot give what they do not have and that is why He first emphasised the spiritual qualities that parents must have. A parent that will teach a child to love the Lord, must himself or herself love God with all of his life (vv. 4,5) and be obedient to God’s word, (v. 6).
Having settled their own spiritual life with God, it is expected that the truth about God they have known must be communicated to the children. How should parents do this? First, through diligent teaching of God’s word to the children. They must make out time for family Bible study where issues will be thrown open for discussion and allow the Bible to guide the discussion. Second, there should be spontaneous correction if any of the children do anything contrary to God’s word. There, must be constant and fervent family altar where the children will learn the acts of praying to God on daily basis trusting Him and committing all things into God’s hand. Fourth, there must be almanac and calendars that display the word of God that will constantly be reminding the children that they belong to God and therefore, unique being who must not behave like people without God (vv. 8,9). Fifth, parents must not leave their children behind while going to church, they must go together. Sixth, constantly cross-check their notes or jotter or ask them questions about what they learn in church to ascertain whether they are gaining anything in church or not. Seventh, labour on the salvation of their soul. Don’t assume that they have been saved, be sure of their salvation, for it is then you can breathe a sign of relief.
PART 2: EDUCATIONAL TRAINING (ISA. 50:4; ACTS 7:22)
There are two types of education that parents must give to their children. The first is the formal education. This is the education that a child receives within the four walls of educational institutions. This is very important and every child deserves to get the best of education. Gone are the days when a child would finish primary six and would be asked to go and learn a trade. It is not that learning a trade is not good, but it is better when a person gets proper education before learning a trade. This will assist him in improving on the trade and it will also affects the calibre of customers and companions that will be patronising him or her. Parents must therefore invest in the formal education of their children.
The second type of education that parents must give to their children is the informal education or what can be termed moral or home training. Many parents give the first education and neglect the second, leaving the children to be useless to themselves. Moral training includes how to sweep the floor, wash the ditches, wash clothes, take proper care of the house, cook good food, entertain visitors, greetings of elders and the right postures depending on the culture, proper and decent dressing, good and acceptable characters and behaviours, etc. Many of these moral trainings are lacking in the family and that is why the society is filled with many irresponsible children and some have even become adults and have become problematic adults in the society.
Parents must give all-round and balanced education to their children so that they will grow up to become responsible children to the family, the church, the society and humanity in general.
PART 3: CHILD DISCIPLINE (COL. 3:21; PROV. 22:15; 13:24)
There is no doubt that children will naturally do things that will not make the parents to be happy. They will go against the instructions given to them. In such a situation, the Bible gives us basic principles on how to correct the child. The first is to correct the child in love. The Bible says “Father, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col. 3:21). The Bible gives this instruction to the Fathers because naturally mothers love their children and don’t want anything to hurt them. To correct in love is to scold the child and explain the reason why what he or she has done is wrong. Correct with word and love.
However, if a child is being corrected over and over for the same wrong behaviour, the Bible encourages the second principles of applying beating for correction. Parents must not spare the rod and spoil the child where necessary (Prov. 23:13-14; 29:15). A note of caution must be sounded here, many parents who use rod often beat children out of hatred and bitterness in their hearts. Some have injured their children in the process. This is no longer correction but wickedness. Parents must bring their emotion under control when they discipline a child so as to get the best result of the essence of beating, which is to correct the child. Never resort to child labour in the process of applying child discipline.
PART 4: CHILDREN’S RESPONSE TO PARENTAL GUIDANCE (EPH. 6:1-3)
The first three sub-divisions have highlighted some of the responsibilities of parents in raising up godly, educated and morally upright children that will be a delight to God, their families, church, society and humanity. However, the process cannot be complete and bring forth positive result without a corresponding positive response from the children. This is why the Bible enjoins the children to obey their parents. Know that your parents are more matured, more experienced than you do, therefore, obey their instructions, do things that will make them happy that they have you as their children. Not only will you attracts God’s blessing to yourself, your parents will also do everything to make you happy.
Raising up children in a godly way is not an easy task. Parents must therefore seek God’s face on daily basis to give them wisdom, strength and the needed resources to be able to raise their children up in the way of the Lord.
- What do you understand by the word “Training”?
- Mention some of the things parents must do to ensure spiritual training of their children.
- What is the difference between formal and informal education?
- Differentiate between child discipline and child labour
- How should children respond to their parents guidance?