How to raise your Children to become Godly adults

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At the end of the month, the rewards were added up and money was given to the children. It was theirs to save or spend, after their tithe to God was set aside. Occasionally you hear of people who believe children should never be paid for doing chores. They think it will ruin their character to be paid for their work. Yes, it is true that children should not be paid for routine obedience, such as coming when called or playing nicely with their brothers and sisters.

But teaching children the value of the work ethic with rewards is certainly a right principle. Giving children an allowance without expecting anything in return is the wrong principle. The sooner we ingrain in our young children the overall principle of consistent blessing for obedience and correction for disobedience, the more obedient a child becomes—and the more peaceful a household becomes. Consistency is a tremendous key! We must remember that children, since they have human nature, are attracted to disobedience like a magnet—and disobedience must be dealt with consistently.

On the other hand, obedience and doing what is right must be taught.

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Proper parenting is a huge dose of child training. Every rule or guideline should be logical and explainable. This is something that we must all work to overcome. Children must learn and know that we discipline them because we love them. We really do want what is best for them, and we want them to grow up to be happy and successful adults as well as fulfilled members of the Family of God. This is the foundation for their eventual eternal life.

It should also be our principle of parenting, with our own children, for their life-long happiness. All Christian parents want their children to grow up to really love God and His way of life.

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Scripture shows us that even the best possible parent will not automatically achieve a perfect outcome. God taught Adam and Eve His way of life, yet the perfect Parent allowed his children to accept or reject His example and teaching. The same applies to human parents. Parents cannot force their children to seek God as their Father.

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But parents can certainly help lay the foundation for their children to have a better life now, and eventually to surrender to the true God. We know from Scripture that God will open the minds of all human beings, either in this lifetime or in a future resurrection, and that most whose minds are opened will choose to receive the tremendous blessings and benefits of obeying the true God. How, then, can parents begin to transfer to their children the desire to seek God fully?

Salesmen know that, to sell a product, they must first create a desire. People are always motivated by what they want —not by what they should want. God motivates parents in a similar way. He provides the sure knowledge of tremendous benefit for those who choose to follow Him.

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One who does not believe that there is substantial reward —benefit—in seeking God will never be motivated to follow Him. This applies to parents, and it certainly applies to children. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is full of the knowledge of blessings for obedience. Neither teaching nor example alone will accomplish the task, without the other. Their children will often rebel against the hypocrisy they perceive in their parents, and will turn against religion—and even against authority in general. The principles of God are to become bound up in our mind what we think and in our hand what we do as an example — and we must teach them effectively to our children.

Of course, parents do not want to create self-centered children who think only of their own benefits. There is no shortage of examples in this sick world; the question is: will parents put in the effort? Granted, it takes considerable time and a consistent focus on this meaningful goal, but it has huge payoffs.

Relying on church services, by themselves, will not accomplish the task. If they jump out of a tall tree, gravity will yank them to the ground, resulting in a broken leg or a very painful sprain.

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The effect the painful injury was caused by violating the law of gravity jumping out of the tree. When our children disobeyed those rules, we could remind them that they chose to disobey, so they had chosen to receive some form of punishment. This applied in the physical realm as well as the spiritual, as when my wife reminded our children to be very careful with knives, using them only when we gave permission. When they did, they usually ended up with cuts on their hands.

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Every family sets rules for its children. Most parents would never allow their children to run into the street after a bouncing ball; the chance of being hit by a passing car is too great. In the same way, parents can explain to their children that God also has certain Family rules—His laws—that are for our protection.

After all, people do not want to harm themselves. We all want the benefit of a good life, full of happiness and joy instead of misery and emptiness. While this takes significant parental energy, it is well worth the effort. Many teenage boys can readily understand that physically assaulting a woman is wrong, but how would you explain to your teenage son that lusting after near-naked images of women is also wrong—that it will harm him and that, conversely, avoiding such lust will greatly benefit him? Who is it going to harm? After all, I am not married, and I am only looking.

The brain can store images of airbrushed or surgically enhanced bodies that one has seen, and then compare a future mate to those false ideals. For example, years ago, on one cold and rainy day in the Arkansas Ozarks, we were driving to church. We quickly realized that we were being hit by freezing rain. Just then, another car coming the opposite way also hit the ice and lost control.

We were hurtling toward each other at about 40 miles per hour—a combined speed of about 80 miles per hour if we were to hit each other! It was a sure collision. We came to a soft landing in the mud, hitting nothing. Ten feet further on the left was a large cement culvert, and to the right of the road was a foot embankment leading down to a river. Our hearts were pounding as we realized we were unhurt. Over the years, my wife and I have talked with our children about many such dramatic interventions—including many healings.

All parents should regularly share personal testimonies from their own lives, to help bind their children to the real God.

Parental example is a form of teaching, in which the lessons are taught by actions, rather than words. Certainly parents should make it their agenda to teach their children verbally all the principles of God. As children grow up, they become very gifted at comparing what they hear being taught with what they see in the living example. The importance of parental example cannot be emphasized enough.

Child development experts recognize that small children look to their parents—who have from infancy been their providers, nurturers and teachers—almost as gods.

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Young children believe anything their parents tell them, and expect that parents can fix anything—from an injury to a toy to an injustice from a friend. God designed this early dependency and trust so that parents can guide and train the young receptive mind in a wholesome and godly way.

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Parents have little hope of rearing godly children if they are not genuinely godly examples themselves! Children who see hypocrisy will eventually reject parental training. Children who see genuineness and sincerity, however, will much more readily accept the godly principles taught by their parents and the Church. As children mature, they will subconsciously transfer to God the experience they have had with their parents.

If parents have been critical and unforgiving, children will tend to see God that way. If parents have been inconsistent in teaching obedience to rules and respect for authority figures, children will not respect God, nor will they be concerned about breaking His rules.

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Obviously, no parent is a perfect example. The children know they are loved, and they know that the two most important people in their lives love each other. Children absolutely need to see in their parents an example of total truthfulness!

How to raise your Children to become Godly adults How to raise your Children to become Godly adults
How to raise your Children to become Godly adults How to raise your Children to become Godly adults
How to raise your Children to become Godly adults How to raise your Children to become Godly adults
How to raise your Children to become Godly adults How to raise your Children to become Godly adults
How to raise your Children to become Godly adults How to raise your Children to become Godly adults
How to raise your Children to become Godly adults How to raise your Children to become Godly adults

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