One great privilege of life is choosing to become parents. This rewarding part of life is also a great responsibility. Thankfully, as believing parents we have the Bible as our resource for what is right in regard to raising children. In the Bible we learn it is our responsibility to lovingly teach our children to obey so that as they mature and grow older, they will continue to love God and keep His Word.
Seeing what God’s vision is for our children helps us effectively teach the Word to them, resulting in many benefits. God has made His vision plain in His Word so that we can bring it to pass.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
God’s vision is for children to obey. Requiring their loving obedience is right, and it has many benefits. Children who learn to obey will be well pleasing to the Lord, it will be well with them, and they will live long on the earth.
As parents it is our responsibility to teach them to obey because this is not something that comes naturally to children. Even our Lord Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, had to learn obedience (Hebrews 5:8).
We give our children instruction as we nurture and raise them according to the Word.
And, ye fathers [“parents” in the Aramaic], provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
The word “nurture” in this verse is translated “instruction” in II Timothy 3:16.
II Timothy 3:16:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [which is] instruction in righteousness.
The nurture, or instruction, we give our children includes doctrine, reproof, and correction. Our instruction is to be loving and gentle, as is God our heavenly Father, Who is love. He lovingly provided His Word to us so that we might know His will for our lives. Reproof and correction are necessary in life to bring us back to the doctrine when we are not obeying the Word. This is what we provide for our children—teaching them to bring the Word, the doctrine, to their minds so they can be obedient and well pleasing to the Lord.
As we teach our children, we learn that teaching is an ongoing process. It is a privilege and responsibility we get to do throughout the day, every day. Similar to how we renew our own mind to the Word, we remind our children of the truth as often as needed until the desired result is achieved.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
God is telling us to keep His Word in our hearts and to teach our children to do the same. When we do this, our children will learn to love God and obey His Word; and they will have the Word to share with others, including their own children in the future.
Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
That thou mightest fear [revere] the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Teaching our children continues as they grow and reach age-specific milestones and then mature into young adults. We love them through each step of learning and growth, just as God continues to love us and clearly instruct us in His Word.
We lovingly nurture and raise obedient children who love God and who will continue to love God as adults and parents themselves. This is God’s vision for parenting our children, that it may be well with our families, generation after generation.