I attended a parenting fellowship the other day. Oh, how encouraging and refreshing it was to be with parents who readily and humbly admit that they don’t have it all together. And like me, there are many short-comings and areas that totally need God’s grace and guidance.
As a mother of a soon-to-be teenage boy, it scares me to death on how I’m ever going to be able to handle the transition through puberty. The thought of having to talk about sensitive issues freaks me out.
During the fellowship, I was reminded once again that I am not alone in raising my son. God is his Father who will guide and protect him. And there are the men in church who are ever present and always willing to help steer him in the right path. I was reminded once again of God’s promise:
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
So, what must parents teach their kids? Here are the notes I took from a teaching by John MacArthur, which was shared during the fellowship. If you are a parent reading this, I hope this will enlighten and encourage you to be more diligent in teaching your child the ways of the Lord.
10 Lessons To Teach Your Children
1. Teach your child to fear the Lord. (Proverbs 9:10)
Do everything in your life to show your honor to Him, to show your respect to Him, to worship Him.
Fail to teach your child to fear God and the devil will teach them to hate God.
2. Teach your child to guard their mind. (Proverbs 4:23)
“Watch over your heart – ” or your mind, means the same. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Guard your mind.
Fail to teach your son to guard his mind and the devil will teach him to have an open mind.
3. Teach your child to obey their parents. (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20)
The first lessons of submission and critical obedience are in childhood. You can’t live in the world if you are a rebel. You can’t break laws in the world and have a peaceful life.
Fail to teach your child to obey his parents and the devil will teach him to rebel and break his parents’ heart.
4. Teach your child to select their companions. (Proverbs 1:10)
Fail to teach your child to select his companions and the devil choose them for him.
5. Teach your child to control their desires, to guard their body.
(Proverbs 5:1, 5:7, 5:22, 2:16, 6:20, 7:1, 7:6, 9:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:3)
You cannot leave children uninstructed about the deadliness of sin. They have to be instructed or their own iniquities will capture them and their own sin will bind them. This is critical. This is the pathway to death.
Even in a society that doesn’t bring about capital punishment for adultery, death can come many ways, many ways. It can come through a disease. It can come through a murder. It can come because it’s simply an early death because of iniquity. It can come in a profoundly spiritual way and be the death of all hope for a good and noble and meaningful life.
Fail to teach your children to control their body and the devil will gladly teach them to give it over completely to lust.
6. Teach your child to be faithful to their spouse. Teach your children fidelity in marriage.
(Proverbs 5:15, Proverbs 31)
Be content with your own wife or your own husband. Drink fresh water from your own well.
Fail to teach your children to enjoy the marriage partner and the devil will teach them to destroy the marriage.
7. Teach your child to watch their words.
(Proverbs 4:24, 5:2. 6:12, 10:11, 10:13-14, 10:18-21, 10:31-32, Ephesians 4:29, James 3)
What’s devious speech? Lying. Stop lying!
You can sin more readily with your tongue than any other physical component. You can say anything. It’s a fire; it’s a destroyer. Teach your children to guard their speech, their words – so very obvious, and so very basic. Watch your words. You need to discipline your children seriously and consistently when their speech is not wholesome and edifying and grace-giving.
Fail to teach your children to watch their words and the devil will fill their mouths.
8. Teach your child to pursue work. Teach them to work. (Proverbs 6:6, 10:2, 22:29)
Teach your children to work, not to waste their lives. Teach them to work. That don’t mean they all get a job. Teach your daughters to work at home, to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and do everything possible with all skills and diligence for the benefit of the family and the honor of God.
Fail to teach your children to pursue their work and the devil will make laziness a tool of unrighteousness
9. Teach your child to manage money. (Proverbs 3:9-10. 6:1, 13:22. 22:7)
Don’t be foolish with money. Be responsible for their money. They work hard for it.
Control your money to honor the Lord. You start by giving the first fruits to Him. Take care of your financial obligations immediately, get out of debt, and leave an inheritance.
Fail to teach your children to manage their money and the devil will teach them to waste it.
10. Teach your child to serve their neighbors. (Proverbs 3:27, 3:31)
In the midst of you being wise with your money, you still are called to love your neighbor as yourself. If somebody has a need and you have the resources, it’s your obligation: do it. You have the power to do it: do it.
Fail to teach your children to love their neighbor and the devil will gladly teach them to love only themselves.