Bringing Up Children Part 2By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, January 1, 2023.
5. Effective training is realized in two ways: 1. A positive aspect of bringing children to maturity through good example and advice. 2. A negative aspect of enforcing order when there is unwillingness to cooperate with parental rule. D. The mark of a godly man is that he “...ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity” (1TI 3:4). 1. Mind that “rule” in the home is given to the parent before all others. 2. rule: trans. To control, guide, direct, exercise sway or influence over (a person, his actions, life, etc.). 3. control: trans. To check or verify, and hence to regulate... To exercise restraint or direction upon the free action of; to hold sway over, exercise power or authority over; to dominate, command. a. command: Simple sense. trans. To order, enjoin, bid with authority or influence. Properly said of persons, but also fig. of things. b. Consider Abraham, the man of faith and friend of God. GEN 18:19. 4. regulate: trans. To control, govern, or direct by rule or regulations; to subject to guidance or restrictions; to adapt to circumstances or surroundings. 5. subjection: Phr. in, into, to, unto, under subjection: in, into, under the dominion or control of a superior power. 6. gravity: Grave, weighty, or serious character or nature; importance, seriousness. a. There is a time and season for all things. ECC 3:1-14. b. But life is not all about mirth and frivolous entertainment. ECC 7:2-6. 7. Mind how that rule involves restraining free action. Example: a. The Scripture does not specifically say, “Children shall not scream at the top of their lungs whenever they feel like it (especially in the home or supermarket).” b. But permitting screaming for the sake of screaming is not training a child in the way in which he should go. PRO 17:1; 1TH 4:11; 2TH 3:12; 1PE 3:4. c. There is a time and place for less restraint: outdoors if it is not robbing others of their own peace and quiet. d. But there are obviously places besides the home or supermarket where unrestrained activity or noise are not appropriate: church, funeral, hospital, doctor’s waiting room, courtroom, etc. e. Train children’s restraint for the other venues by beginning in the home. Virtually everything of genuine value in life begins in the home. E. Remember, you will train your children one way or another. But will you train them in the way they should go, as PRO 22:6 commands? 1. For example, consider training a small child not to touch something. a. You can keep it within his reach and train him not to touch it by punishing him if he touches it. This obviously does not apply to very dangerous things, especially for a very little child. (1) This teaches him to obey the command not to touch. (2) This teaches him to restrain himself even in the presence of a forbidden object that is accessible. (3) This prepares him for the real world, where things are well within the reach of little children. Likewise it prepares the child for adult life where actions have consequences. (4) Hint: Retailers are not putting things within a child’s reach to encourage them in self-restraint or self-denial. Bringing Up Children 12-25-22 Page 3 b. You can put it beyond his reach. (1) This teaches him that is off-limits only if it is out of reach. (2) This does not teach him to respect your command not to touch. (3) This does not prepare him for the real world, where things are well within the reach of little children. Likewise, it does not prepare the child for adult life where actions have consequences. c. A general principle to train into children is that if it doesn’t belong to them, it is not theirs to touch or access without permission. This teaches the boundary of respect for other’s property. 2. Consider how you are training when you allow a child to get his way by persistent whining. It is the unjust judge who rules thus. LUK 18:5. a. Tolerating whining is training a child in conduct which God opposes. (1) whine: To utter a low somewhat shrill protracted sound or cry, usually expressive of pain or distress; to cry in a subdued plaintive tone... 2. To utter complaints in a low querulous tone; to complain in a feeble, mean, or undignified way. (2) murmur: To make, produce, or emit a low continuous sound... 2. To complain or repine in low muttered tones; to give vent to an inarticulate discontent, to grumble. (3) See 1CO 10:10; PHIL 2:14; JUDE 1:16. b. You are training the child that persistent begging and whining pay off. c. The way to end persistent whining is not by rewarding it, but by punishment. If whining occurs when a child is ill, consider circumstances. If it occurs otherwise, demand that it stop immediately and punish if it doesn’t. This gives a child a space of repentance. c/w REV 2:21. d. Remember, the parent is the one that is supposed be doing the manipulating, not the child! e. Children’s concerns should be by respectful entreaty (pleading), not whining. 1TI 5:1. f Learn to distinguish between a child’s possibly genuine complaint or plea for attention and whining to manipulate you to bend to the child’s will. 3. What lesson is a child learning who is given everything he wants when he wants it? Do not be surprised if such a child grows up to be impatient, lazy, in debt. 4. How are you training a child when you do everything for him or let him abandon a task without finishing it? Do not be surprised if he grows up shirking responsibility. You trained him that way. F. Verbal communication plays an important role in training children. 1. Words may build or destroy. PRO 18:21. 2. Parents (especially the father) are to be managers initiating productivity and creativity. Instruction should be: a. clear. Is the instruction expressed as a wish or a command? As a child develops positive patterns, less instruction should be needed. b. well-defined and within the child's comprehension and ability to perform. (1) Time limits may be helpful because time passes slowly for a child. (2) A timer or a suitable analog kitchen clock can help even little children gain a perspective on time: “...when the big hand points to ---, you should be all done.” c. certain. Do not train your child to respond only to increased volume of command. Deliberately delayed obedience should be considered disobedience. Bringing Up Children 12-25-22 Page 4 NUM 14:40-43; PSA 119:60. 3. Here are five types of parents that fail in verbal leadership. a. The dishonest parent. This one doesn't check for results when a command is given. He doesn't mean what he says. b. The threatening parent. This one is really offering choices. Is not sitting still for an hour worth more than what Mom or Dad threatened would happen? c. The exploding parent. This one merely throws tantrums, causing the child to focus more on the parent's reaction than on the ethic of his own behavior. d. The disinterested or silent parent: “Do what you want, just don't bother me.” This parent is really telling the child that he/she doesn't really care about him. e. The gutless parent. This parent caves in when verbal instruction does not produce obedience in the child and so does not follow up with punishment. 4. Verbal communication is limited in its ability to shape the child's character. a. Very small children are unable to process verbal instruction but they can understand the stimuli of touch and pain. b. Even in children that can understand verbal instruction, that verbal instruction will not drive their inherent foolishness and rebellion away. That will require the use of the rod. PRO 22:15. 5. Do you thrive spiritually when God tells you He loves you in spite of yourself? Make sure you tell your children that they are precious to you and your expectations for them are born out of love for them. a. Do not by your words leave your child with the impression that they are beyond redemption or worthless. b. Sometimes a conscience-provoking communication from the parent can be an effective motivator of positive humility and change in a child: “I’m disappointed in you. You could have done much better.” 6. There is a time and place for verbal rebuke in the love-driven program. REV 3:19. a. Verbal rebuke stands between a wrong done and a painful consequence. It faces the effects of the wrong, points out the dangers and consequences of the present trend and cites an alternative. GEN 4:6-7. b. Steer between the extremes of 1KI 1:6 and EPH 6:4a. c. Correction must rebuild rather than ruin. Don't let situations go unattended until they become critical and then explode. d. Weigh the contents, circumstances and consequences of a rebuke. (1) A rebuke should not be an adult temper tantrum. Even Jesus Christ's treatment of the moneychangers was a meditated one. JOH 2:15. (2) A rebuke should not threaten a child's standing, dignity or right to try again. COL 3:21. e. Sometimes love will be tough and not be perceived for what it is. PSA 141:5 c/w 2CO 2:4. G. The book of Proverbs is eminently important in training children. Refer to it regularly. It was written by the second-wisest man that ever lived (Solomon) and validated by the wisest of all, Jesus Christ. MAT 12:42. 1. The O.T. portrays the highest level of development as wisdom whereas the N.T. portrays it as Christlikeness. 2. To attain unto Christ is to attain unto wisdom, for in Him “...are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (COL 2:3). 3. It has been said that wisdom is the “...capacity of judgment which grows in the spiritual depths of a human being permitting him to use his knowledge, abilities and opportunities in Bringing Up Children 12-25-22 Page 5 a way designed by God to be fulfilling and satisfying.” (Gordon Macdonald, The Effective Father, p. 185). 4. Training involves repeated exposure to instruction and experiences until they become ingrained and automatic. a. In a word, this is the development of habits. b. Children are trained to develop habits like orderliness or rising early and reflexes such as vindictiveness or peaceableness. c. Good values need to be trained into a child and blessings should be evaluated in spiritual and relational terms rather than simply material terms. 5. An important area of child training is that of discipline, i.e., making oneself do or endure something tedious or difficult. a. Discipline enlarges a child's capacity to endure or produce. b. Discipline is deliberate stress introduced to stretch the capacity for performance. An example of this might be encouraging a child to run a little further after exhaustion. c. Children should be exposed to fatigue, inconvenience and frustration. (1) Life is not always a convenient or painless experience. (2) Children should learn that feelings do not govern life. If permitted, feelings will limit an individual to subpar performance. (3) Examples of such exposure: walk in the cold, don't procrastinate, do chores even if feeling subpar. 6. Solomon explained that true wisdom, though an enabler of success and prosperity in this world, is superior to material advantage. PRO 8:10-11 c/w LUK 12:15. a. Do not smother children with material stuff, especially when such is a reward for bad behavior or habits. You don’t want to train a child that life revolves around himself and stuff. b. An empty cardboard box can be filled with imagination. Bringing Up Children 12-25-22 Page 6
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