Saturday, November 22, 2008

Instilling Godly Character in Your Children

My study has recently been on how to instill godly character in my children. I have been reading, mediating, and praying through Proverbs. I want more than anything for my children to leave the home one day and to say, "my mom and my dad showed me with their lives and with their words how to glorify God". I also pray daily for their salvation. Recently, I purchased, Gleanings From Proverbs by Robert Jones. I found this particular devotion very helpful.

"My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck". Proverbs 1:8,9

Wise King Solomon, after laying the foundation that all true knowledge begins with the fear of the Lord, proceeds to give fatherly counsel to his son. A person possessing proper reverence for God and for the authority of His Word will also demonstrate respect and submission to human authorities placed by God in his life.
Parents entrusted by God with the raising of children cannot begin too early to instill godly character in their lives. EVERY baby enters the world with the fallen, sinful nature of Adam that will NOT love and choose what is right, a nature that knows how to become evil and selfish, but is IGNORANT of how to do good.
Though only the grace of God in Christ can impart a holy nature into the soul of a child, parental instruction and discipline can greatly suppress the manifestation of its evil nature, develop its common graces, and be a blessed means of leading the young person to saving repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
A father is to be the instructor of his own children. To be an effective teacher, he himself must apply and delight in the knowledge he is communicating. It is not sufficient that he say to his son or daughter, "Do as I say!" when he himself does not do as he says. A mother is to be a lawgiver to her children as she guides the house. This necessitates moral courage, for children will strongly test the boundaries set for them. She must display both firmness and compassion, ruling and acting consistently with the instruction of the father.
Solomon may well have been addressing at this time a son who had arrived at or was near adulthood. Even at this age the young person's responsibility is to hear his father's instruction, not with the secret intention of finding a way to rebel against what is spoken, but that of devoting his growing intellectual powers to understanding and obeying the counsel given. He is not to forsake the law of his mother, not to regard her rules of conduct as meaningless scruples when away from her direct supervision, but continue to often confide in her in life's situations. If parents will pattern their instruction after God's law, The Ten Commandments, they need never fear the usefulness of their instruction to their children will come to an end.
Obedience to parental authority will beautify the life of a young person with a beauty that cannot be purchased with any amount of wealth, neither is dependant upon natural gifts and graces. It is like that spoken of in I Peter 3:4 : "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." As an ornament adorning one's head cannot be hid, an obedient spirit will make the whole life winsome and comely. In Scripture, chains about the neck are emblems of royal favor. A young person who learns to render heartfelt obedience to his parents will have the gold chain of a good conscience about his neck. He will be spared much sorrow, and have much cause of thanking God.

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