As we began to examine the training of a child, we noted that children are a gift from God and that the parent is given the responsibility to be a good steward of this gift. A parent must view their children as being “on loan” from the Lord. This simple principle of stewardship will insure that the parent takes great care of the gift of God.
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
As the head of the home, the man has the God-ordained responsibility to rule his own house (1 Timothy 3:8). Note that this is not someone else’s house, but his own. A man has to be responsible for the children he sires in order to fill his position as head of the home. Children do not come by accident. Pregnancy is a result of sexual activity. Being faithful to God demands a faithfulness to the children He has given you and taking responsibility for the results of sexual activity.
But there are those situations that cause a disruption in the make-up of a “traditional family.” In cases of separation and divorce, a man is still responsible for providing for the needs of his children. In cases of adoption, the man adopting the child assumes a responsibility for the child, but this does not absolve the responsibility of the biological father to provide “for his own, and specially for those of his own house.”
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)
In context with our study on the Training of a Child, the primary need which a parent is to provide is for the training or upbringing of the child. The parents’ responsibility is to teach their children to be adults (Titus 2:2-6). For this reason, it is necessary that the children recognize the parental goals as being for their benefit, “That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
The children then see the promise given to them for obeying their parents, giving them honor; because they know the benefit of obedience. So often a child will ask a reason for obeying a parent’s instruction. When the frustrated parent responds “Because I said so,” the child is not given an understanding of their actions’ benefit and so does not learn the basis of a decision. Therefore, they never learn how to make good decisions.
A child has the responsibility to obey; but a parent also has the responsibility to raise a child, training them to be an adult.