Raising children is a matter of discipleship and good stewardship. We have a short time as parents to impart the tools, wisdom and basic skills that are necessary for their adult life. But one thing that may get overlooked by Christian families is the importance of teaching good biblical doctrine from an early age. These are the all-important why’s to the do’s and do-not-do’s that most parents are good at giving. If children do not have the why’s answered, even if they are not directly asking them, then how important will it be to do what is right as they grow? Will they make the connection between life and God, between doing good and loving Jesus, between respect for parents and honoring their Creator if wholesome Bible doctrine is left out?
One of the best ways to connect discipline with doctrine in a child’s mind is to proactively introduce the doctrine at the time of the discipline and to do so every time. When a child ignores you when you say, “don’t do that”, it’s common to react with “What did I tell you?” or “If I have to tell you again…” in a frustrated tone. We’ve all done it. It’s not wrong to be frustrated, but it would be far more helpful if they knew exactly why you are, and that the frustration is not just with them but with their misbehavior. Leaving good doctrine out at this point would be detrimental. They will learn that doing right and wrong is based upon reward only, rather than on a loving and holy God who deserves obedience all the time. Explain to them in that moment that God in his love and through His Word has asked Children to honor their parents and that not to is hurtful to God’s heart. Depending on their age they may look at you cross-eyed and confused, but that could be because they’ve never heard you say it. They’ll begin to wonder who God is as you speak of him and doors will swing wide open for you to tell them more about this loving God you serve.
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Another common behavior among children is the mistreatment of their siblings. There is not much else that irks a parent more than dealing on a daily basis with hitting, name-calling, disrespect and downright rudeness between children who in your mind should be best friends. From toddlers to teens this battle rages on. If not handled through loving discipline and a good doctrinal foundation it will surely go on to greater mistreatment and even harm to others.