Is your child unruly, undisciplined, or disrespectful? Do you feel you are at the end of your rope and do not know where to turn? I have some great news for you. Having just read a jam-packed 20 page booklet that could change your whole outlook on parenting, you need to know what to do about the little monster in your child’s heart. It is called, “Dealing with Sin in Our Children” by Arthur Hildersham.
Hildersham exhorts his readers that because we as parents are responsible for the sin in our children, we must, with all diligence, strive to “work grace” in our children. We do this for God’s sake, our children’s sake, and for our sake.
There are five ways we as parents can help our children:
- We must make our children respect us as their authority.
- We must instruct our children and make the truth known.
- We must be a good example to our children.
- Be careful who you let ‘raise’ your child.
- Pray, Pray, Pray for your child.
When children do not respect their closest authority (parents) how much less will they respect our Heavenly Father? When the child does not respect God’s authority, he will act like a heathen and will have no moral standing on anything: leading him to destruction. We must strive to teach our children to honor and reverence us as their parent (Exodus 20:12) no matter how sick, weak, or incapable we are as parents. This is the child’s duty in Ephesians 6. Parents should not be surprised if their children do not honor them if the parents themselves do not honor the Lord and their authority in life. Another reason this could happen is if the children were not corrected when they were young—which is why we must begin the teaching process as early as possible.
There are four ways that we can instruct our children:
- To teach them to know God
- Acquaint them quickly with reading God’s word (praying, singing to the Lord, thanking Him)
- Take them to church to worship God
- To examine your children to make sure they know what it is they are learning. Here is where physical discipline is a necessity
The rod is a tool to use for a foolish child. Spanking your children is a good and godly act. This passage is tempered with an exhortation to fathers, warning them about provoking their children to wrath (Eph 6, Col 3).
While we can teach with our words, it is even more important to teach with our actions. We help our children with the example set by our own life. There is nothing worse than a hypocrite. We ourselves must examine our actions and dealings to ensure we ourselves are walking in accordance to God’s Word. We show our children what is good. We turn from what is evil. They see our goodness and, Lord willing, will mimic us.
To ensure our children are learning properly, we must be careful who we let teach our children. Is the public school filling their heads with godly morals? Do we drop our children off at daycare where they learn to cuss, disobey, and disrespect authority like the other three and four year olds do? We must be careful who we let influence our children.
Lastly, Pray. Earnestly commit yourselves to pray diligently for your children. Our Lord is the One who opens the eyes of the blind, and causes the deaf to hear. He will be the One who saves your children. Pray for humility, wisdom, and for the relationship between you and your spouse. If you are a single parent, it is important you ask your local church body for assistance. Children were meant to be raised by a man and a woman. Each sex helps the child develop. The church can work to provide encouragement and the missing gender to help single parents.
This little booklet goes into so much more detail than I can write in such a short space. I encourage all to invest a whole $5 in your children’s lives. The responsibility is on you as a parent. If your child is yelling at you and is disrespectful; instruct, be an example, discipline, remove ungodly and foolish friends, and pray for your child. Love your child by spanking them. The one who spares the rod hates their child. May the Lord be with those who call upon His name diligently.