Category Archives: Child Training

Never Underestimate

Moses threw his staff down before Pharaoh, and it became a serpent (Exodus 7:10). If I was watching, I would have been impressed. Pharaoh wasn’t. He called in his magicians, and “they also did in like manner with their enchantments” (Exodus 7:11b). God could have prevented their magicians from doing the same, but He didn’t. 

Could it be that in addition to using it to harden Pharaoh’s heart, God wanted Moses to expect in the future the dark side to attempt to hinder God’s work in lives? We aren’t to fear it, but we should anticipate it and be in prayer about. 

Are you expecting your children to automatically receive Christ and live for Him just because they are living in your home? Being active in church is not enough either. 

Is Jesus the love of your life, your purpose in life, and your joy in life? Do you love His Word, and are you in it every day, personally and leading your family in Bible time because of that love? Your children must see His power/life at work in you. 

Live for Him my brothers with all your heart.  Be purposeful in discipling your children, Satan wants them.

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).  

Prayer for Current Events

Let’s continue on last week’s theme of responding to the wickedness in current events. We want to pray for those who are suffering, and we want to teach our children to pray too. 

Scripture is our guide and example in this. Notice when the man horrifically cut his concubine into twelve pieces (Judges 20:6), Scripture did not provide pictures or gory descriptions. That is why if you have a TV, this is a great time to put it out for the trash. Photos and details imprint on the brain, striking fear in hearts that just a statement of fact about a situation requiring for prayer shouldn’t (IE. Christians are being severely persecuted and desperately need our prayers). We don’t need details to pray effectively. 

When we hear something, we personalize what we hear. Next time someone tells you of a dentist appointment with painful work that was done on their teeth, notice how you run your tongue over your teeth. The more details, the more we picture that happening to us. How easy for a child who hasn’t grown in real love for Christ, or maybe not even saved to think, “I’m never going to be a Christian if that is what might happen to me.” 

God didn’t lead Israel to Canaan through the land of the Philistines because they weren’t mature enough to handle what they would face even though it was much shorter (Exodus 13:17). We need to be careful what goes into our children’s minds. 

Brothers, our suffering brothers and sisters need our prayers. Pray appropriately and with your family. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). 

Our Own Enemy

When things go wrong, people want to blame someone. As an example, just a few hours ago I heard a casual acquaintance blame God for something. The reality is that usually we, ourselves, are to blame by making bad choices that lead to painful consequences. 

We can avoid much grief for our families if we will read and heed God’s Word. 

“Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left” (Joshua 23:6).

“Be ye therefore very courageous” – Brothers be resolute, unwavering in your commitment to follow Christ. This isn’t about a mere preference.

“to keep” – Retain, treasure and mediate on His Word. 

“and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses,” – Praise God we have more than just the law of Moses. We have it all. Read, my Brothers. Love it, and live it. 

“that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left” – Be narrow-minded when it comes to His Word. Inhale the Word, exhale in obedience. 

Brothers, know the Word, live it, and then there will be no reason to blame anyone. It doesn’t mean things will always be without difficulties, but there is peace in following the Savior. (Continued)

Savory Sewage

Living in Florida I remember being fascinated any time I heard about a sinkhole event occurring, sort of like a modern Korah, Dathan, and Abiram moment (Numbers 16). Likely that single event of Numbers would hold the all-time, world record for sinkhole devastation. 

There is a costly, modern day sinkhole of another sort that impacts many (most?) men today. Sadly, few recognize the longterm consequences. However, I’m confident there is a horrific “cost” to God’s kingdom due to all the hours it sucks out of men’s lives and the negative impact to their souls. What is it? It is the news, and man’s insatiable “need” to be informed about every illegal, disastrous, scandalous, juicy, gory, and immoral event that the networks can find to keep their ratings up. 

Do I hear cries of “Heresy!” “Outrageous” “Insanity!”? Please extend me a bit of grace. Consider what the result of mentally “ingesting” the list from above? What profit is there? Does it build you up in Christ? Does it enrich your life or foster love, joy, or peace? Do you have a far greater hunger to read God’s Word as a family than you do to listen to or read the news? How many families are starved for the Bread of Life, while Dad is feasting on the sewage of the world?

Since it is a shame to speak of the works of darkness, it is certainly not good to listen or read them. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12). 

My Brothers, Scripture tells us what we are to feed on. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). 

What Could Be Better?

Who would have imagined our government “giving” taxpayers big checks? Free money seems too good to be true. 

Might that be similar to many “believers” view of their relationship with the Lord Jesus today? They “believe” in Jesus, and in return, He is supposed to give them the good life. How did the greatest act of sacrificial love become so trivialized and distorted? 

We are not worth even a molecule of the Lord Jesus’ blood yet He thought it good to purchase us. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). 

Might we use this season to adore Him and reflect on His sacrifice and worth? Thank Him, trust Him, obey Him, and worship Him. He alone is worthy. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

BTW, Satan cursed Adam and his children by getting Adam’s focus off of God and onto food (clever and effective). May we not be guilty as well by giving children chocolate bunnies and eggs when all attention and glory is due the Lord Jesus Christ? 

“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23).

Be Better Than Smart

I just sent my keyboard to the landfill by spilling tea on it. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know that tea on a keyboard might render it useless. I knew it, but the problem was my lack of acting on what I know. 

That might be the closest I come to similarity with Solomon. He knew better. He just didn’t implement what he knew. However, his was worse than a hundred-dollar keyboard. The wisest man in all the earth was warned of the consequences of marrying foreign wives. He had money, power, and wisdom. He lacked one thing, though, that his father David encouraged him toward. “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God…” (1 Chronicles 22:19). Solomon didn’t have a heart after God.

Then God said to Solomon, “if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom…” (2 Chronicles 7:18-19). 

My brothers, set your hearts on God—to love Him and obey Him. Make Him the joy of your life. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30). 

Blah Blah Blah

We all have had a conversation with a boy who proclaimed he was going to do great and mighty things. Listening, you smiled, affirmed, and encouraged him as he spoke, but inwardly you wondered, “Will he actually do it?”

Have you noticed that doesn’t just apply to boys? A few months back, I was visiting with my son, Nathan, and his wife, Melanie, on the driveway when they were dropping something off. At one point in the conversation, I commented that I still wanted to lose ten more pounds, and I was going to do it. They responded with appropriate smiles and encouragement. Well, three months later, not only have I not lost those pounds, I have packed on a few more.

Aren’t we glad Noah, Moses, and Paul were men of God who put action to their words? What if Jesus, when in the garden, had called down legions of angels to avoid going to the cross? We all would be headed for eternity in hell. “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).

What have you said you would do and haven’t? First in priority is our relationship with Christ (Col. 1:18) — in the Word every morning and praying (1 Peter 2:2). Make sure you are involved in a Bible-believing/preaching church each week (Hebrews 10:25). What about investing in your marriage (Eph. 5:25) and relationships with your children (Deut. 6:7)? (Don’t believe the quality versus quantity lie!) May we be men of our word.

Committed to Training Our Children

God gives us untrained children. From then on, everything we do or don’t do—our passions, subtile pleasures, self-discipline, reactions, what we hate, what we love —are all imprinted on our children. Whatever measure of rebellion, disrespect, or lack of self-control in our children that we accept is part of the “training process.” To top it off, how the child perceives our love of God, our worship, and time in His Word, can affect him for eternity. Self-control is one of the most important things for our children to learn.  

One tool that facilitates the whole family learning self-control is a daily, home schedule. Not only are needed things accomplished, but it helps a child (everyone for that matter) develop self-control. To submit to boundaries and structure is critical for life. The flesh wants freedom and nothing external telling it what to do. However, we are bought with a price. All of our time and our whole life is owned by our God. His yoke is easy for the obedient but not for the rebel. There are times to sit still and be attentive (church) and times to be active. Each must learn to rule over himself in order to submit to the One Who owns us.  

If you would like help in this area these resources have proven beneficial in tens of thousands of lives: Managers of Their Homes and Redeeming the Time.   

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

SUCCESS ORIENTED

 Most parents would love for their children to sit still and be attentive at church. The question is how many are willing to invest in their children to achieve that end. If you are, it’s achievable, and family Bible time is the ideal training vehicle with the side benefit of them learning self control.

Begin with a mental checklist of Bibletime-behavior goals for your children. Make your guidelines achievable, and explain them to all the children when you begin. Don’t resort to the bad idea of allowing children to play with toys during this time as it teaches them to think about things other than God’s Word. 

Even little ones love how good it “feels” when they are praised by the family at the end for sitting still and having been quiet. Encourage/remind the older children that their example influences the “youngers.”

I watched my son, Christopher(six children ages 1 to 8), improve upon what we did in our home for family Bible time. I am blessed by his faithfulness and diligence in this. To help the little ones when beginning Bible time, he holds up one hand and then sequentially points to each finger associating a behavior with it. 

o Hands busy (hands clasped together)
o Sit up
o Feet down
o Be quiet
o Listen carefully

Over time, he no longer needed to rehearse these each night. Often, when they have done exceptionally well, Christopher will reward them with something active a little one would enjoy.

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments” (Psalm 119:9,10).

Starting

To get it right, start early. However, infants are too young for church-type training so parents will do well to preemptively manage the child’s sleep, feeding, and hygiene needs. In the event that plan fails, head for the cry room.

As he gets older, training can begin. Using every opportunity, once a baby can sit in a high chair to eat, meal prayer times are perfect for simple training. Teach your children these three basic rules for praying: hands folded, eyes down, sit still. Of course, it will be funnier than effective at first, but you’re committed, remember? 

Start with short prayers and over time, move to progressively longer ones. If you are implementing this with toddlers, tell them you will be praying with your eyes open so you can make sure theirs are closed. If they aren’t successful, they can practice longer while others are being served their meal first. 

Don’t underestimate your child’s ability to understand when his behavior is pleasing you. Tones and smiles communicate a lot to your small children before they can speak. More next time on other opportunities to help your children develop self control. 

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right” (Proverbs 11:20).