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Raising Godly Children

As Godís kingdom is moving forward so are the families in the kingdom. A new generation is growing up. We want the next generation Ė our children to grow up in a godly way, so that one day, when the time comes they will become powerful men and women for God.

That will not happen on its own. The work starts now even as this next generation are still toddlers or in their terrible twoís or frisky fives or eight or nine or pre-teens.

Itís an ongoing process from the time of birth.

To raise godly children we got to have godly expectations.

To pass those godly expectations down to them we got to teach them, train them and discipline them in a godly way.

1. Teach

Matthew 22:37-40
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Teach them about God and his love for them and how to love God wholeheartedly.

- Teach your children to grow up with a positive picture of who their God is Ė Our God is a great God who created us, he loves us and wants to be our Father and take care of us as a shepherd would take care of his sheep. He knows us by name and watches over us all the time. Donít paint a negative picture of who our God is. Very distant, not easy to please, waiting to punish you for your naughty deeds.

- Teach them to know their God Ė Prayer, Bible stories, devotionalís should be part of our daily life style, so that the children can grow up learning how to have a relationship with God. All you need is Ĺ an hour or 45 mts daily for these activities. Unless we teach them to love God, kidís will not learn on their own. Daily devotionals can be a lot of fun, something the children look forward to. Have a song, pray together as a family, read a passage / story / incident out of the Bible. Then either enact it or discuss it and talk about one thing that they learned out of it. Give an example of a family in your church who has regular devotionals together as a family.

2. Train

Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

When we train our children we are actually helping them build their character. We should not open the Bible to our children only to correct them or rebuke them. Open it out daily to train them to live their daily lives and know Godís expectations.

We got to train our kidís to be Ė

a) Respectful

Ephesians 6:2-3
2 "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--
3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

In todayís world its difficult to see any respect being shown. As disciples we should not let our kids grow up arrogant and disrespectful. Donít think its cute when children speak back to you. Donít tolerate temper tantrums or defiance or hitting out at you or smart talk. With older kids it can be slamming of the door, mutteringg under the breath and rolling the eyes Ė these are ways in which they show their temper. These are acts of disrespect.

For our children to honour their parents is to honour God and his plan for their life. Expect our kidís to respect us as their parents. Donít tolerate anything other than that

b) Obedient

Colossians 3:20
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

From a young age we got to train our children to obey us. Learning to obey is crucial for them as they grow up Ďcos it will help them to learn to obey Godís words and Godís authority in their life. Those of us who grew up rebellious know how difficult it is for us to learn to obey. As grown ups we fail miserably at it. Train your child to be obedient while he is young and it will teach him to be a good disciple one day.

c) Honesty

2 Thessalonians 2:10
and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

Those who refused to love the truth perished. Truth or honesty is one of the essential building blocks of character. As parents we must teach our children to accept, and to love telling the truth. We got to teach them that satan is a liar.

John 8:44
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Have a deep conviction about this and do not tolerate any kind of lying. If they learn to always tell the truth, no matter how difficult it is we will be able to help them build a life based on righteousness. Encourage openness and you be open to them yourself.

d) Godly Confidence

Psalms 71:5
For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.

We got to instill godly confidence and not worldly confidence in our children. The false foundations for confidence are physical appearance, intelligence, material possessions, talents. The right foundations are relationship with God, good character. Always encourage effort made by them more than talent or achievement.

3. Discipline

Proverbs 23:13-14
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.

In raising Godly children discipline plays a very important role. First you train and then you discipline. Discipline can be in different forms :

a) Verbal

When your child does something that is unacceptable you rebuke or reprimand the child verbally. While rebuking never say you are a bad or naughty boy/girl. This is judgemental and destructive to the child. It makes him grow up with a negative picture of himself. You got to explain that his act was a naughty one, not he was naughty. If they grow up thinking they are bad it destroys their self-esteem. Always verbally correct or rebuke your child before you get into non verbal discipline, that is a spank.

b) Non-Verbal

Non-verbal discipline is spanking. Always prepare a child to expect a spank before it comes. The first time he does something wrong correct him and explain to him, that if he repeats the same behaviour he will get a spank, so the child is not surprised he knows that why he is getting a spank. Or before the spank count one to three and explain to them by the time you count up to three if he/she does not change his behaviour he will get a spank.

When you spank a child there are few important rules to follow: Never spank a child in anger. Always explain to the child before you spank him why he is getting a spank. After a spank always cuddle and kiss the child and tell him you forgive him and expect them to go away happy not moaning. When spanking try not to use your hands, try and use preferably a wooden ladle. Always take the child into a private place away from other when you spank him, never do it in public, its humiliating for them. Parents should never disagree when child is being punished. Both should have same standard.

When disciplining older children spanking is not adivisable. Discipline them by holding back rewards Ė Eg. no T.V for a week or 2 days, Withhold things from them that they love having or doing. Please take advise from other leaders with children if your want more specific information about disciplining your child.

In todayís world it is so important to raise up our children in a godly way. The world will only lead our children astray and we need to be deeply involved in our childrenís lives daily.

If we teach them about God and how to love them and train them in developing their character and discipline them where discipline is needed we will be able to raise up godly children in an ungoldy world.