Raise My Children?

QUESTION: “I am concerned about raising my two children in today’s permissive society. …What can I do to guide them in the right way?”
ANSWER: I appreciate your question, as well as your concern for your family. The Psalmist wrote, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…” (Psalm 127:1a). With this passage in mind, let me encourage you to study the following:
1. Talk about God’s word and will as part of your everyday conversation. We as parents often talk to our children about “everything under the sun,” but then fail to discuss the most important subjects. Moses urged, “…These words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6,7).
2. Avoid the “Don’t do as I do, but do as I say” policy. Role models are extremely important to children. Unfortunately, “children are finding life-models on the televisions. The model now chosen and copied is crude, violent and amoral.”1 Solomon said, “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 a parent, your most effective training will come through your own godly example (cf. Ephesians 6:4).
3. Administer corrective discipline, in love, as necessary. The Bible says, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24). “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). “Do not withhold correction from a child; for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from Sheol” (Proverbs 23:13,14). Let me be very clear, the Bible in NO WAY condones child abuse, but IT DOES teach physical punishment. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).
1/ Gordon MacDonald, “Wear Shoes You Want Filled,” The Effective Father, p. 102

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