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Want to Teach Your Child Godly Character?

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
As parents, we must teach our children obedience as a foundation to all other scriptural principles.


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Many Christian parents, who have a genuine desire to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, are not certain of exactly what it is they are supposed to teach them. The Bible identifies at least ten areas of spiritual truths that parents must communicate to their children. In the third part of an eleven-article series on parenting, Dr. Dunlap examines the necessity for parents to teach their children sound doctrine, biblical standards, godly values and decision-making.

Many Christian parents, who have a genuine desire to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, are not certain exactly what it is they are supposed to teach them.

  1. As parents, we must teach our children obedience as a foundation to all other scriptural principles.

The Bible identifies at least ten areas of spiritual truths that we, as parents must communicate to our children. According to Scripture, we should have a vision for three generations—we must also teach our “children’s children.” Our first responsibility is to teach our children the principle of biblical obedience to authority. Our second goal is to be certain that our children are rooted and grounded in solid doctrinal truth.

 

    2.  We teach our children sound doctrine.

The writer of 2 Timothy 3:15-17 addresses this solemn responsibility:

From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

 

God calls each one of us to teach our children how to know Jesus Christ personally, and how to be thoroughly prepared for living righteously and ministering effectively.

 

3.     We teach our children proper biblical standards and godly values.

God’s people live by a different set of standards than the world adheres to. Christians are mindful of the fact that heaven—not earth—is our real home. Our goal ought to be to instill godly character qualities in our children’s lives. Paul declares in Romans 8:29, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” There can be no higher parenting goal than to help our children desire to be conformed to Christ’s image.

Jeremiah 9:23,24 is a powerful commentary on the differences between the world’s value system and God’s priority structure:

Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.

We should challenge our children to value the eternal things of God over the temporal, fleeting things of this world.

4.     We teach our children how to make wise, biblical    decisions. Jesus instructs us in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” We find this promise in Proverbs 16:3,

Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

 

Children need to grasp the surpassing importance of basing all their decisions in life on scriptural principles. We should challenge our children to examine their options in light of this question, “How will this particular course of action line up with the truths of God’s Word?”

 

We ought to read the Book of Proverbs aloud to our children on a regular basis.

Proverbs is a valuable teaching tool because it contains vivid word pictures of God’s divine wisdom. In this book, we find practical instruction on how to avoid foolishness as we conduct our daily lives. We learn how to deal lovingly and justly with other people. As we read the Proverbs, we come to see that our natural inclinations lead to ruin, but God’s ways lead to life.

 

Dr. Don Dunlap, a pioneer in the placement of Pastoral Counselors in the offices of Christian physicians, has conducted over twenty thousand appointments during his ministerial career. His counseling practice includes adults, children and families in crisis. Dr. Dunlap is committed to facilitating a network of telephone counselors. His goal is to provide help for the many people unable to meet face to face with a competent Bible-based counselor. For a complete library of Dr. Dunlap’s articles, indexed by topic, go to Family Counseling Ministries. You may also make an appointment for personal telephone counseling by clicking on Family Counseling Ministries. Family Counseling Ministries is a Christianity.com ministry Partner.




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