Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Both children and parents learn obedience to God best by being obedient in everyday, ordinary life. Then, if an extraordinary expectation comes their way, the pattern of obedience is in place. As God’s Son, Jesus often taught and showed how to do his Father’s will.
Most of the adults and children in churches I have served have learned the words of Proverbs 22:6 and have aimed to live by them. Parents take this proverb to heart, trying to teach godly living by “Example, Example, Example!” After all, what does it mean if parents can say, “I’ve provided food, clothing, recreation, education, and more,” but they have not taught their children about the Lord?
Generally, the character and virtues of godly parents are picked up by their children, but we must remember that Proverbs 22:6 is a proverb, not a promise. To their parents’ sorrow, some children turn away from the Lord, and this calls for much prayer.
Wise parents know they can’t “do it all” on their own. They join a church where God’s Word is the basis for all teaching. They make friends with other parents for whom God’s Word is truth. If possible, they also find a school that supports them in raising their children to honor God. Working together and with God, shall we not all aim to show that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7)?
Father, thank you for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Help us follow his example of obedient living so that we also can be good examples for others. In his name, Amen.
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