TEACH YOUR CHILD TO DO RIGHT
Proverbs 4:11 LB
I would have you learn this great fact: that a life of doing right is the wisest life there is!
I cannot begin to count the number of times my wife and I shared this verse, this life-altering fact with our children as they grew up. A life of doing what is right, no matter how you feel, or what your emotions tell you, is the wisest life there is!
All of us who are parents must understand that our children need instruction, correction, guidance, and training in what is right. No child comes out of the womb knowing or understanding this as a subset of their DNA. In fact, what is in their DNA from the womb, is sin and foolishness. This is paramount to our understanding of what it will take to train and raise our children. As the Bible tells us, “there is a way which seems right to a man but it ends in death”. Defining right by how we feel, by what our own human, foolish desires tell us are right, will lead to self-destruction and eventually, painful death.
We must diligently teach our children the difference between right and wrong, according to God’s standards and teachings in the Bible. Oh, the lives that could have been saved from so much pain, heartache, and suffering had a child been taught to do what is right, instead of caving to their hormonal urges and lusts in their teenage years. Think of the lives that could have been spared if a child had been taught not to cave into peer pressure when friends are doing stupid things like getting drunk or using drugs, and instead did what was right, and removed themselves from those situations and from those friendships. Imagine the things a child could be spared from if someone had taught them to choose the right kind of friends, and informed them that bad company corrupts good morals!
Let me tell you from first-hand experience as a pastor who intentionally started a church just for young people, who worked with them for decades, who poured into their broken lives! How you will wish to God you had instilled in your children this “great fact: that a life of doing right is the wisest life there is!”
I have seen foolishness destroy more people’s lives than any other single thing. The foolish love to do what is wrong. They hate what is right, they enjoy their foolishness, they revel in it.
We must teach our children that doing right is the wisest and smartest thing to do. That doing what is right honors God. That doing right sets them up for success in life, even if we suffer for doing right in a world that loves and exalts in what is wrong. That doing what is right no matter how you feel or what your emotions tell you will save you from so much heartache and pain, and long-term, harmful consequences. Always do what is right and stand up for what is right, no matter what the consequences are!
Here are some suggestions that served my wife and me very well.
1. Model and exemplify right living to your children. Let them see your passion for doing right and for making things right when you have made mistakes yourself. Let them see you stand up for what is right no matter what it costs you!
2. Patiently but faithfully correct your children and train them to do what is right. No matter how long it takes, or how much effort you have to exert. As long as they are in your home, never stop teaching them what is right and to do what is right!
3. Start at a very early age and begin to teach them to do right. This is often taught by teaching them what is wrong to do. We started to teach each of our children before they were one.
A few examples:
Don’t deliberately shove food off the high chair onto the floor.
Don’t stand up in the high chair.
Don’t fuss. Letting them fuss now, leads to complaining and bad attitudes later.
Don’t touch. There are certain things that must be off-limits to a small crawling child.
4.Teach them in their own family relationships to do right by their mom and dad and siblings. Do not let this incredible teaching opportunity pass you by. The family is the perfect incubator for teaching right actions, instilling right choices, right attitudes, and right behavior.
5. Use real-life stories from the bad examples of people you might know to illustrate to your children the terrible consequences of doing what is wrong and foolish, instead of doing what is right. Use your own testimony and examples as well.
6. Commend them for doing right each time you observe it. Let them know and feel your pride in them, and that you noticed it. This reinforces their desire to do right and drives that value deeper into their developing character.
Micah 6:8a NLT
O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right!
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling