“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
As parents, we have the responsibility of training our little ones as infants how to walk, then potty training, how to feed themselves, how to tie their shoes, etc. But, we also know that we have to train our children to be obedient and respectful to ourselves as parents, and to others. Our children can sometimes become a bit rebellious; this is where discipline must come in.
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)
Most people have heard the old cliché: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” Well, it goes a lot deeper than that. How about: “Spare the rod, and your children will run all over you.” There must be discipline in the home if we are to raise respectable young men and women. Not just for the sake of the home, but for society as well. Now there is no guarantee that a child will not go astray, especially when they get older. But the training that they were given will not depart from them. Children are to honor their parents:
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (2) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (3)That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)
“Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” (Colossians 3:20)
The Bible clearly gives instruction to children to honor and obey their parents. But it also gives instructions to the fathers to not provoke their children:
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21)
As parents, it is our duty to encourage our children, and move them in the right direction; this can only come by our training and disciplining them as they grow. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (tutorage, i.e. education or training; by implication disciplinary correction, chastening) and admonition (calling attention to, i.e. by implication mild rebuke and admonition-instruction) of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
The Lord has commanded that children obey their parents. As parents, our chief responsibility is to train, instruct, or teach them the things of God.
“For I know him (God is speaking of Abraham), that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” (Genesis 18:19)
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: (7) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (8) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. (9) And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
There is a moral and spiritual obligation parents have when it comes to training children. Parents, we owe it to the Lord. One last example is given to us:
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5)
Paul commends Timothy for his unwavering faith but accredits it to Timothy’s grandmother and mother, who trained and taught him. Parents, are we training our children in the way that they should go? Are we teaching them both moral and spiritual principles? If not, we are neglecting our God-given responsibility, while failing our children. Something to think about!