Training Teachable Children
We’ve all heard the Scripture that says one plants the seed and another waters it but only God causes growth. This is all true and sounds very similar to Psalm 127. But to avoid rocky and thorny soil during the planting process, the ground must be tilled up.
In the parenting process, we have the same job of tilling the soil. We do this by casting a vision for our children, allowing them to see why what we are doing is so important. How many of you know that the need for answers is built into us from a very early age? This is the reason we ask why.
For me personally, the first step in this process is communicating with my children that I am not barking commands at them simply so that they will stop annoying me (although their obedience is a remedy to this). I also want them to know that I’m not merely trying to make them ‘good people,’ because that is impossible without Christ. Instead, I begin by sharing the story of God with them. The Jewish people are still deeply connected with their stories because they explain the “why.”I want my children to know that I’m not merely trying to make them good people, because that's impossible without Christ. Click To Tweet
I want my daughters to know that what I teach is intended to help them reflect God clearly into His world. Because of sin the world is lost and dying and in need of its Creator. I want them to know that unless the Lord builds the house, any labor they put into it will be in vain. I want them to first see His faithfulness and then to understand their rightful response.
Here are a few ideas beyond the story of image-bearing that will help you in training teachable children.
Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”
Tilling the ground starts with showing our children that God loves them, and that we love them in our correction. Remember it is the kindness of God that leads to repentance. It will be our kindness that our children will remember should they ever be in the place of the prodigal. God’s love and faithfulness are vital to this vision. Our love for our children is also vital for them staying the course.
Proverbs 6:23 says, “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light, and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.”
Our children need to understand that if they desire to see clearly in life then correction and discipline are necessary. Proverbs 12:1 says it well, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”Our children need to understand that if they desire to see clearly in life then correction and discipline are necessary. Click To Tweet
Sometimes the motivation our children need is tangible rather than theoretical. Proverbs 13:18 says, “Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.” No one is attracted to a vision of poverty, shame, and dishonor. The discipline of the Lord produces the exact opposite.
Listen to a few more proverbs and I think you’ll have plenty of material to work within in casting a vision for your family.
Proverbs 15:31-32 “Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.”
Proverbs 16:22 “Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the discipline of fools is folly.”
Proverbs 19:27 “Cease listening, my son, to discipline, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.”
Proverbs 23:24-25 “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who sires a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you.”
This final motivation is amazing. Whether you know it or not your children do want to make you glad. Show them how. In the end, after all the sports games are done, and after all the report cards are filed away, the integrity of your children will be all that remains. Teach them well and you’ll rejoice.
What ways do you teach your children that this integrity is most important? Have you seen this effort returned as they strive to honor you? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.