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Raising Godly Children

By J. Stephen Lang -- You will find many promises in the Bible concerning children. Some promises are bad: Children who go astray can be a terrible burden to bear. But other promises are good: Children themselves are a blessing, especially if reared with discipline and kindness. Hymn-writer John Bowring claimed that "a happy family is an earlier heaven."

Whether the family turns out good or bad is, of course, partly the parents' own responsibility.

Children are a gift from the LORD ; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows in a warrior's hands. How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.

Psalm 127:3-5

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children.

Proverbs 17:6

What happens to weak-willed parents who can't -- or won't -- insist on discipline in the home? The Bible gives a painfully realistic answer to that:

If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don't love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them.

Proverbs 13:24

Discipline your children while there is hope. If you don't, you will ruin their lives.

Proverbs 19:18

To discipline and reprimand a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.

Proverbs 29:15

Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.

Proverbs 22:6

Don't fail to correct your children. They won't die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death.

Proverbs 23:13

Discipline is not the whole duty of parents. If they are believers, they also have a duty to pass on their own beliefs to their children:

"You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Not all the Bible's promises are to parents. Children, too, have some words from the Lord addressed to them. Just as the Bible promises good to people who are thankful toward God, so it promises blessing to people grateful to their parents.

My son, obey your father's commands, and don't neglect your mother's teaching. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. Wherever you walk, their counsel can lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up in the morning, they will advise you.

For these commands and this teaching are a lamp to light the way ahead of you. The correction of discipline is the way to life.

Proverbs 6:20

Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don't despise your mother's experience when she is old.

Proverbs 23:22

A wise child accepts a parent's discipline; a young mocker refuses to listen.

Proverbs 13:1

Only a fool despises a parent's discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.

Proverbs 15:5

Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure and right.

Proverbs 20:11

The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure it is to have wise children. So give your parents joy! May she who gave you birth be happy. O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes delight in my ways of wisdom.

Proverbs 23:24-26

The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J. Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.

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