The training of children is a heaven assigned responsibility for parents (Eph. 6:4). If young people misbehave at any time there are some who make comments about schools, the church, the scouts, etc., and about their failure to train the children. These influential institutions do often fail to exert the proper influence, but the shame of failure falls back into the lap of parents because children are given to them as a gift from God. They are carefully to train them to “keep the way of the Lord” and “to do justice” (Gen. 18:19 f; Psa. 127:3-5). There is special emphasis on teaching that will prepare the young to be servants of the Lord. The kingdom of God and His righteousness are of utmost importance.
Parents need to stop blaming our government, which was given to us by God, for the misguidance of our children. If children go astray, look at the parents. If they they lack respect for their elders, it is the parent’s fault and no one else. Solomon, the wise man, wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6). This is a definitive statement without exception. “He will not depart from it”. This is either to the good or to the bad.
I know of parents who refuse to correct their children. They won’t spank them and allow them to get by with most anything. This is the biblical training. Solomon also wrote, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Prov 13:24). You can’t honestly love your children and claim you love them. What you end up doing is allowing the state correctional institution and the courts to correct them. Perhaps it will be someone who is bigger and stronger and a whole lot meaner who will teach them right from wrong.
Correcting your child is not child abuse. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Prov 22:15). “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (Prov 23:13-14). I remember a cousin of mine who when she was young would walk up to people and bite them. My grandmother was one of her victims one holiday. Grandma first warned her daughter to correct her child but she refused. When my cousin bit my grandmother in the leg, she promptly grabbed her and threw her against the wall. When my cousin woke up she was a totally different child. She no longer tried to bite anyone ever again. My own mother corrected me from throwing temper tantrums when I was a child. I would take my head and beat it against the floor. She promptly assisted me in the practice and beat my head a little harder. To say the least, I got her point very quickly and never did that again.
Training up a child also includes teaching. If we want our children to reject homosexuality, adultery, fornication, and the such like, we must instruct them in the ways of God’s Word. Moses wrote, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deut 6:5-8).
We must teach our children godly morals. We must teach them to flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18). We must teach them that marriage is a lifetime commitment (Mk 10:9). We must teach them that homosexuality is unnatural and an abomination before God (Rom 1:26-32). We must teach them to respect and honor governmental authority (Rom 13:1-9). We must teach our children how to be saved. This begins by teaching them the gospel (1 Cor 15:1-4 ff; Rom 10:10; Acts 2:38; Rev 2:10). We must teach them no to go beyond that which was written, but rather speak the very words of God (1 Cor 4:6 f; 1 Pet 4:11). We must teach them to do good unto all men, especially fellow saints (Gal 6:10). If we do these things as parents, we do well, and they will not depart from it.