Train Your Children
Today, our message series is called “Growing a Godly Family.” In this series, we’re talking about how parents and children can grow together in knowing and serving God. In order for that to happen, every family must make God their priority. When God is a priority in every family member’s life, than the family will be blessed. When the family is its own top priority, then God’s blessing will not be upon that family. We must put God first in our families with child training.
Today, my message is entitled “Train Your Children.” Our recent Mega Sports Camp VBS was a great experience for all the children who attended, their parents and all the workers from our church family. I believe that each child grew in learning about sports, but more importantly in learning more about God’s plan for their lives.
Today, we’re going to be looking at what God’s Word says about child training. Now, my message will focus on the training of children in your family, but the principles also apply to spiritual children. Each believer should be discipling or training others as spiritual children. So, let’s begin by looking at the key verses in the Bible with regard to training or discipling others. These verses are often referred to as the Great Commission. They are commands for every believer from Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
There are three commands contained in the Great Commission. First of the command to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ. A disciple of Jesus Christ is someone who has repented of their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord. Secondly, these disciples should be baptized in water and become part of a local church family. Thirdly, these disciples should be taught to obey everything that Jesus through God’s Word commands. As parents, your first responsibility is to disciple your own children. You are to teach and train them to be disciples of Jesus. This training is to be by example and by instruction. You can only train a child to be a disciple of Jesus if you are a disciple of Jesus.
Deuteronomy 32:46 (ESV) “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law.”
As parents, we are to train our children to obey God’s Word, which is training in godliness. Godliness is being like God in daily life, being devoted to God above all else. When you do that, God’s Word has a promise.
Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
When you train your children in God’s ways, that training will guide them for the rest of their lives. So, today, we’re going to look at 3 resources that will help you train your children in godliness. Again, we must stress, that your life must be an example in these areas, in order for your training to be effective for the long haul. So let’s get practical. How should you train your children?
Train your children with God’s Word
Hebrews 4:12 (ESV) For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The Bible is God’s Word, it’s not just a book, like the millions of other books that men have written. The Bible was written by men, but it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. So the words written in the Bible are not the words of men, they are the words of God. The Bible is how God chose to reveal the truth about Himself to the people He created. This verse tells us that God’s Word is alive, it has the ability to change the hearts and lives of those who hear it and believe it. The Bible is the textbook with which to train your children for life and eternity. Training your children begins with …
Parents obey God’s Word
Deuteronomy 11:18 (ESV) “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
In this verse, God speaks to parents and commands them to take God’s Word and hide it in your heart. Not just know it in your head, but embrace and live it, obey it. When you as a parent are learning and obeying God’s Word, then you can …
Teach your children to obey God’s Word
Deuteronomy 11:19 (ESV) You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Teaching children God’s Word is something that parents should do all the time, on every occasion where you are with your children. God’s Word is not just for Sundays, it’s direction is for every day of our lives. This passage goes on to tell of the blessing that God has for those who obey God’s Word, both for the children and the parents.
The primary responsibility for training children in God’s Word rests with the parents. In order to teach your children, you must know God’s Word and be living it out. The primary goal for a parent to train their children with God’s Word, is that each of their children would become a believer in Jesus Christ. So, teach them about Jesus, use the Gospels and their stories of Jesus. Teach your children that Jesus was God Himself, come to this earth to save people from their sins. Teach them that Jesus died on the cross to forgive their sins and rose three days later form the dead.
Your children must make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in order to be saved. My mother led me through the plan of salvation from a little booklet called The Captain. She went home to her reward in heaven this past February, but we will meet again. The primary goal of teaching your children God’s Word is to make them disciples of Jesus Christ. Next …
Train your children to hear the Spirit
Acts 2:17 (ESV) “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
In this verse, God speaks of pouring out His Spirit on children in the last days. We are living in the last days, the time between Jesus’ ascension into heaven and His second time. Sons and daughters are to prophesy. Prophecy is hearing from God’s Spirit and then speaking what you hear to others. Of course, in order to hear the Spirit, one must be a believer. When one hears the Spirit speak, one must obey the Spirit’s direction. Children learn to respond to authority, including the Spirit, as they are …
Teach them to obey their parents
Ephesians 6:1 (ESV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Children must be taught to obey their parents in the Lord. That means that the things parents tell their children to do, must be godly things that come from the Lord and His Word. This verse is directed to children, but parents are to train their children to obey all the commands in God’s Word, including this one. Parents are God’s authority in a child’s life. Not only must children be taught to obey their parents, children must be ….
Teach them to honor their parents
Ephesians 6:2-3 (ESV) “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Honoring parents includes obeying parents, but involves obedience with a godly attitude of honor. Children must be taught to honor their parents and others who are in authority over them. Why? Because God has placed parents and other authorities in their lives to teach and direct them. This command, also contains a promise for the children of a blessed and long life.
So, how can a parent teach their children to hear the Spirit? A child who is a believer must be taught to build their personal relationship with God. That happens by training them to spend a daily time of prayer and reading God’s Word on their own, after they have learned to read. Before the time they can read, you read God’s Word to them in a version that they can understand. Have regular times set aside where the whole family can read, study, discuss and pray over God’s Word. Teach your children about the importance and necessity of being water and Spirit baptized. When children don’t obey or honor their parents, then discipline is required, according to the Bible. The end result will be children who know God’s Word, hear the Spirit and obey.
Train your children to be church members
Romans 12:5 (ESV) so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
The Bible teaches that every believer needs to be an active member of a local church. This verse is part of a letter written to the local church in Rome. Here the church is called the body of Christ and consists of believers being committed as members. We encourage children of youth age, middle and high school, to become junior members of the church. As parents, encourage your children to take our membership class. As with adults, the children need to be believers and have been water baptized. When you train your children to be junior church members, you are preparing them to continue being active church members when they are on their own.
Train them to love other believers
1 John 4:21 (ESV) And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
This verse and others teach us that it is not possible to love God and not love other believers in the church. Actually, the proof that you love God is demonstrated in your love for your brothers and sisters in the local church. Many college students from Christian homes drop out of church because they either were never saved or they were not trained by their parents to love other believers.
Train them to serve other believers
Galatians 5:13 (ESV) For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Love for other believers in the church family is demonstrated by serving one another. The New Testament is filled with verses commanding believers to do things for one another. The one another in these verses, as in this verse, refers specifically to fellow believers, brothers and sisters in the local church family. You cannot obey God’s Word on your own, just you, Jesus, your Bible and the televangelist on Sunday morning or YouTube. Train your children to not only attend church, but to get involved in serving. Teach your children from little on to give a tithe, 10% of their allowance to the church, and another offering to missions. God will bless them in that and they will continue to give and be blessed their whole lives.
Bring your children to church every Sunday. Bring them with you to Life Group during the week. If you have youth age children, send them to Youth Group, send them to Youth Camp. What is they don’t want to go? Guess what, God made you the parent and them the child. You are in charge. You are to teach them to obey, whether they want to or not. We don’t have time to share stories of how God worked in children’s lives when their parents cared enough to teach their children to do the right thing, even when they didn’t want to. The Bible teaches in Proverbs 22:15 that folly is in the heart of a child, but parental discipline will drive that folly far from the child. Train your children to be involved in church.
Today, we’ve looked at three resources that will help you train your children in godliness. The first resource was the Bible. Study God’s Word and teach your children. The second resource was God’s Spirit. Make sure that your children are saved, water baptized and filled with the Spirit. The Spirit will cause them to want to obey and follow God. The third resource is the church. Although you as a parent have primary responsibility to teach your children God’s ways, the church can help in many ways. Teach your children to follow your example in loving and serving in the church family. When you do that with God’s help, you’re on your way in growing a godly family.
Growing a Godly Family Series