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Training Our Children

by Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: Proverbs 22:6

I. Introduction: What is your goal in raising children? The Bible teaches that parents’ top priority in child rearing should be spiritual. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Our primary task is to prepare our sons and daughters to walk according to God’s plan, will, and purpose for their lives. We are to instill in them an unshakable faith that will protect them from the assault of the Devil.

II. What does Scripture say?

A. Parents should talk daily to their children about the things of the Lord (Deut. 6:7).

B. God has trusted parents with a unique role in their kids’ lives. You might feel too busy with your career, chores, and hobbies to invest in your children. But don’t leave this important task to someone else.

III. How should you teach your child?

A. By investing quality time. There is no substitute for a mother or a father. Be sure to invest in your kids early and often.

B. By listening to them. When your children are ready to talk to you, give them your undivided attention. They will be more likely to do the same for you when the time is right.

C. By admitting when you are wrong. Don’t let pride keep you from being transparent. You’ll be surprised at how confession removes barriers to intimacy and trust. And your kids will have an easier time admitting when they’ve sinned too.

D. By loving them unconditionally. Don’t make your acceptance contingent upon their appearance, personality, or performance (1 Cor. 13:8). Shower genuine affection on your kids, and they will do their best to please you.

E. By disciplining your children. Many modern parenting books discourage correcting, punishing, and spanking children—even when they willfully disobey. This idea is diametrically opposed to the clear teaching of Scripture (Prov. 3:12).

F. By encouraging them to fulfill their potential. Time after time, my mother said to me, “Charles, you need to look your best, do your best, and be your best.” Without criticizing or shaming your kids, challenge them to rise to their full potential.

G. By teaching them to be accountable to God. Until your children understand that their heavenly Father watches everything they do, they are likely to rebel when you aren’t around.

H. By emphasizing the importance of a relationship with Jesus. Through your words as well as your lifestyle, teach your children the importance of committing to one-on-one time with the Lord.

I. By encouraging them to read the Word. Daily Bible reading and prayer will give your children a strong moral compass. Unless the light of God’s Word shines on their paths, your children will stumble through life (Ps. 119:105).

J. By teaching them that God has a plan for their lives. I told my kids that the Lord had the right spouse, a particular career, and a specific calling for them. When children are raised knowing that God has planned their future, they are motivated to seek Him for direction.

K. By telling them to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. In this one statement, you are teaching them to recognize the sovereignty of their Creator and His personal interest in them—this principle will help them know that they can trust Him to take care of the consequences.

IV. Conclusion: Train your children in such a way that they will follow Jesus all the days of their lives (Prov. 22:6). With your guidance and support, they will be ready to overcome attacks from the Enemy, courageously defend their faith, and take a stand for truth. Despite a world that is hostile to our faith, they will be able to reach their full potential—not just spiritually but also in every other way.

Related Bible Study Topic: Passing Down the Faith

Related Life Principles: TRAINING OUR CHILDREN

(Copyright 2011 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.)