Text: Ephesians 6:1-4
Many of the parents today are asking, ‘What can we do to have Godly children?” The answer is the same as it has always been – God. The only thing that truly conforms a child to God is regeneration by the Spirit of God; which is solely up the action of God.
However, the Word of God is very plain in the parent’s responsibility in the rearing of children in the home. The parents are entrusted by God for the physical welfare and the spiritual welfare of the children of their union. This responsibility includes: to be an example, before the children, of God and His ways; to teach the children the Word of God; and to administer discipline according to the Word of God.
The father is responsible for (Eph 6:4) “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The Greek word translated “nurture” is “from a word that means tutorage, that is, education or training; by implication disciplinary correction: – chastening, chastisement, instruction, nurture.” Therefore, the father is to be in charge of the instruction of (to edify, to educate) the children in the family. The Greek Word that is translated, “admonition” means “calling attention to, that is (by implication), mild rebuke or warning: – admonition.” Therefore, the idea is that the father is to instruct his children through counsel and discipline. The primary focus is on the spiritual side. Proverbs does speak of the physical side; however, the Word of God – and the living of it before the children by the father, and the counsel that the father gives his children – must come first, before the physical discipline. The warning to every father concerning the physical discipline – whether it be by words or by the rod – is in (Eph 6:4a) “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.” The word translated “wrath” means “to anger alongside, that is, enrage: – anger, provoke to wrath.”
The Apostle Paul makes it very plain that the mother also has a responsibility, under the husband’s authority. (Eph 6:1-2) (1) “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (2) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)” These two verses prove that the children are to obey both parents; not only the father; but also the mother. She represents the father’s responsibility in the home. She is also a teacher in the home as she carries out his instruction (Titus 2:4-5).
There are examples in the Word of God (such as Samuel and his boys) which reveal that the parents standing in God (or their salvation in God) does not cause the children to honor God when they leave home. However, the outcome is not in the hands of the parents after the children leave home. But the promise of God is now and forever in effect; for in (Pro 22:6) “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Therefore the responsibility of the parents is to “train up a child in the way he should go.” This proves that the parents are responsible to “train up a child”; which is before they leave home. (Please read Ps. 78:1-7; Deut. 6:5-11). The obeying God in this manner to children, while they are in your trust, will bring great dividends now and later for the family, and for the children when they go out from home and begin to live their own life and make life decisions.
This is how you have Godly children now and later. There is no “new way” invented by man to have Godly children; only the instruction of God will work. There is no substitute; there is no new theory developed by psychologists that will work; only God’s way will work.
Therefore, parents are under a great responsibility to their children to not only live before them according to the Ways of God but they also are responsible to teach their children the Commandments of God and the Promises of God for them to have success in this life.