A child who has been properly trained and disciplined will respect his parents and respond to their teaching.
1. Scripture. Knowledge of God's Word is basic for training.
2. Obedience. Require instant, willing obedience to those in authority.
3. Limits. A child must accept the limits his parents place on him to benefit from their care, protection, and training. As he matures, his freedoms increase.
4. Rules. This includes remembering and obeying rules without supervision, building the habits of right behavior, and developing self-control.
5. Moral Principles. Help children see and understand beyond the rules to the moral principles upon which they are based. This helps children internalize these values and make them their own.
6. Motives. Understanding our true motives (e.g., anger shows a personal right not yielded to God) is what leads us to a conviction of our sin and ultimately to repentance and salvation.
7. Salvation is the most important aim of Christian training. God's Spirit within produces true godly character.
8. Dedication to God. The believing child increasingly devotes himself to pleasing God and so receives his parents' instruction for the Lord's sake as well as out of love for his parents.
9. Initiative. Inner motivation leads to taking initiative to meet needs and please others, seeking wisdom and knowledge from God's Word, parents, and every source of truth.
10. Christlikeness. This final goal prepares our children to train their own children, minister in the church, and be effective ambassadors for Christ.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness"
(II Timothy 3:16).
Teaching is preventive instruction and establishment of godly standards through Scripture and example.
Reproof includes verbal warnings and reminders from Scripture.
Correction involves administering effective consequences for misdeeds.
Training in righteousness involves instilling correct behaviors and attitudes and the application of godly principles--not just stopping the disobedience.
(Back Issue: Nov./Dec. '99)