Watching the news or reading the newspaper, we can’t help but notice the periodic disturbing reports of children and teens involved in some type of crime. We instinctively know this is wrong, but many people don’t know how to react or what to do. The easiest way to deal with it is punishment or jail time, but this is not a long-term solution. Like any other group, young people go wrong because there’s something important missing from their lives, and that missing element is Jesus Christ.
Over the years, as Jesus has been kicked out of school system after school system, God has been banned from the workplace, and prayerful assemblies have brought threats of lawsuits, evil has spread faster than ever before. This is no coincidence. To save our future generations, adults must abandon political correctness and not be afraid to speak His name. “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates” (Deuteronomy 11:18-20). This is not a suggestion, but a commandment!
God has tasked parents, grandparents, and caregivers with teaching children His Word. Not only does this involve studying the Bible every day, but setting the example through our behavior. It’s true that children often do what we do, rather than what we say. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Teaching them and demonstrating the Word will profoundly affect their lives.
We must not let the world, which does not know God, dictate to us how to raise our children. Growing up, they need firm guidelines as to what is acceptable and what is not, what is right and what is wrong. Contrary to some child care books on the market written by “experts” in the field, loving and godly discipline is not only okay, it’s mandatory. “Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won’t kill them. A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death” (Proverbs 23:13, 14, MSG). God is our heavenly Father, and we can and should model our parenting style after His Word.
God loves us and our children more than we could ever imagine. He knows what’s best for us, so we must pay close attention to what He tells us because it is true godly wisdom. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-4). Using the Bible as our child-rearing guide helps our sons and daughters grow up safe from the evil that takes over the mindset of so many young people. We all want our children to live happy, successful lives and be a blessing to others, and the power to help them do that lies within the pages of the Bible.
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