The first and most imperative teacher a child will ever have are their parents. The Bible says specifically that if parents train up a child in the way he should go that he will not depart from it. (Prov. 22:6). Parents should not delegate that responsibility to anyone else. Here are a few things all parents should be imparting to their children.
Children are a special creation and a gift from God. Our children need to know that everything God created is special (Psa. 139:14). In a world that makes children second-class citizens, it is important to remind them that they are the key to the future of the world. Therefore, parents must teach their children from God’s Word if the future is going to have a godly nation guided by the church Christ built.
Important things can’t be purchased. Materialism and commercialism are everywhere and kids are easily influenced by such things. Remind them that everyone came into their world naked and with no possessions, and when we die we shall leave with nothing (Job 1:21). Remind them it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
The great tragedy of our day is that so many children feel unloved. We show our children we love them in various ways, but the simplest way is to tell them, every day (Tit 2:5).
Young people hear a lot about choices but seldom about consequences. As parents, one can’t depend upon our school system to teach our children about morality. If children are having sex they will eventually get an STD. If they are having unprotected sex a pregnancy is likely to occur. If children play with guns, someone is going to be killed or be imprisoned. Thus, it is imperative that we do our job as a parent and teach them the truth: Choices do have consequences.
There is right and wrong even if society is telling your children that right and wrong is in the eye of the beholder. As parents, one has the responsibility to teach their children right from wrong (Eph 6:4).
kids get countless messages telling them what to wear, what to listen to, where to go, and what to do. Too many people are whispering in your children’s ear. A worldly child might be taught by a village but a godly child is taught by godly parents. “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 6:5-7).
Children need to know hard work has value. “If anyone will not work, neither let him eat.” The world is teaching your children to escape hard work. They tempt them with lotteries, gambling, and get rich schemes. The value of hard work, diligent effort, excellence, and responsibility are principles that find their basis in Scripture (2 Thess 3:10,12).
Prejudice of any kind is wrong. Prejudice is nothing more than unwarranted hate against another. It is taught and not something you inherited. God is not a respecter of person and neither should we be (Rom 2:11). Thus, godly parents must teach their children not to be prejudiced against a person because of their race, their gender, or their nationality. They need to know that it’s character that counts and not the outward appearance. They need to know that God hates prejudice.
Last, but not least, children need to know that God must come first in our lives. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl 12:13).
Being a parent is an awesome responsibility not given to everyone. What you teach your children is a reflection upon you. Teach your children right from wrong, correct your children with prudence and wisdom, and above all, love your children in the Lord. If you don’t, the world will.