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Equipping Our Children for Life

By Dr. Don and Debbi Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
We must urge our children to make any sacrifices necessary to live righteous and holy lives.

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The writer of 1 Timothy 3:16,17 declares,

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


Any person who desires to develop his or her parenting skills should pay close attention to the truths of these two verses. We will consider each of these four purposes of Scripture, as they relate to parenting.


1.      Teaching The New Testament offers us a glimpse into the life of the greatest teacher who has ever lived. Jesus used many different teaching methods to communicate truth to His listeners. He used the question and answer method, He taught with parables, and He taught by example, to name a few. He made God’s Word come alive in the eyes and ears of His followers, and He demonstrated the importance of teaching truth from an abundant heart. His goal was not merely to teach facts, but to change lives.

As parents, we should imitate Jesus’ teaching methodology as we teach our children how God expects them to live. Do we take time to creatively present the truths of God to our children or do we deliver endless lectures? Are we often guilty of “overkill” or are we sensitive to our children’s varying attention spans?


Do we consider the fact that we need to teach our children in “chewable bites” or do we choke them with intricate concepts that are over their heads? We must strive to make the Word of God attractive and exciting so that our children will yearn for more of Christ.


2.      Reproof God reproves us when we neglect or violate His     commandments or the principles of His Word. He brings conviction upon our hearts and minds, as His Holy Spirit clarifies the nature of our offense to God or to others.

Someone has defined reproof as “showing a person his or her sin and summoning that person to repentance.” Likewise, we must reprove our children when they transgress. We should be careful not to shame or condemn them, but rather gently and firmly point out the error of their ways. We find this exhortation in Proverbs 15:31,

He who listens to a life-giving reproof will be at home among the wise.

We must challenge our children with the important biblical principle that fools do not have a teachable spirit and they refuse to receive a rebuke. Godly wisdom should be one of our primary training goals for our children.

We will review the two remaining purposes of Scripture, as listed in 1 Timothy 3:16, 17 in the next article.

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 ministry Partner.

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