In the last post we discussed the concept of honor. Honoring is similar to respecting, fearing, revering.
I shared that I was raised to respect and honor my parents. As my heart trusted and was submitted to them I was in a position of humility and receptivity to their loving instruction.
This instruction included the fear of the Lord.
I believe if we can teach our children to honor and respect us in a loving relationship, we can teach them to love, honor and fear God. I also believe if we don’t teach them to honor and fear us as their parents, it will be much more difficult to teach them to fear God.
We teach honor, respect, obedience, submission to authority, fear and reverence.
THIS IS HUGE.
In being given the privilege to raise and influence our children we have the divine role and calling to connect them with God- To trust His love, His goodness, His greatness and wonder. And to FEAR HIM.
“What does the Lord require of you, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.” Deuteronomy 6:1-3
I believe this should be the basis of our parenting.
We have been given authority over our children from God. As they learn to respect and submit to our authority, they are learning how to submit and revere God’s authority.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, we see his instructions to parents and children for a Christian household:
” Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your mother and father,-which is the first commandment with a promise- that it may go well wit you and you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers do not exasperate your children,instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord “.Ephesians 6:1-4 ( I have also heard in the”fear and instruction of the Lord”
Children are to obey and honor their parents.In the dictionary the definition for honor describes,”honor implies acknowledgement of a person’s right to be respected .”
Parents are to not exasperate and to instruct their children in the Lord. To exasperate is to irritate to anger. I think we can see from this verse that the alternative to raising our kids the way the Lord intends, is to breed anger and rebellion in their hearts, which has at it’s root selfishness and pride.
In the book of Proverbs, children are directed to listen to the instruction of both their mothers and fathers.(Proverbs 1:8)
While Paul is focusing on father’s being the instructors, Timothy, who was the pastor over the Ephesus church,was raised and instructed by his mother, Lois and his grandmother Eunice(II Timothy 1:5) who, taught Timothy from” infancy from the holy Scriptures which are to make you wise.” II Timothy 3:15
HOW DO WE, mothers and fathers instruct our kids in the Lord? What is the curriculum!?
For Timothy,Paul’s spiritual son, it started with Scripture and it started from infancy.
Great place and time to start! Where in Scripture?
I believe any and all of Scriptures is good and powerful and when we read it ,”it does not return void” in other words it is effectual in bringing wisdom. ( Isaiah 55:11),
It also brings life. John 6:63b: “Jesus says, :The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life”
Peter responds to Jesus in this dialogue when he asks the disciples if they would leave, ” where would we go, you have the words of eternal life.” John 6;68.
Jesus is the word made flesh(John 1:1, 14) . He is Wisdom incarnate(Proverbs 1:,8,9). When He speaks we become alive-
At the heart of what we can bring to our children daily is we can teach them that they ARE TO LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF GOD!!!
HOW? Two ways…
I. In Prayer and daily devotion to Him in the secret place( Matthew 6:6)
2. In the word- as we read and meditate on the word we can hear the voice of the Father, and Jesus Himself, through the Spirit- He ” leads us into all truth ( John 16:13)
We must teach our children to actively seek the voice of the Father everyday!!
In my home schooling, I emphasized reading the scriptures daily- singing them , drawing them, acting them out, and memorizing them.
As my four kids discipler, I taught them how to have devotions, or quiet times with the Lord daily- I modeled( they were not to speak to me or start our day until I had my time with the Father)
I showed them how to read and study Scriptures.We did it together and I helped them read a passage alone and ask , Father , what do you have for me from this verse?
I showed them how to pray by praying for them, with them. This was part of my response to Deuteronomy 4 and 6- where we as parents are instructed to teach our kids to love the Lord above all else and to talk about him while we walk, sit, lay down- in other words all day long.
My children responded to my husband and I because they were taught to honor, respect, and obey us and the Lord.
I am happy to say that, as adults, they continue to seek God’s face and voice everyday. They have lives blessed by the Lord, and it does indeed, go well for them in their lives
Our next post will focus on how we went about teaching them to have this attitude towards their parents, others in authority, and ultimately God Himself.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;all who practice it have a good understanding” Psalm 111:10