Helping Children Interpret Life Correctly

When truth about God is our greatest joy, we will help our children interpret life from a biblical perspective.

Truths to impress on our children:

• Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. It is not found in new jeans, a new iPod, a car, one’s abilities, or exciting, heart-pounding experiences.

• We need to walk in wisdom, submit to the goodness of God’s way, and turn away from our own agendas.

• A life of prayer and godly counsel is our desire.

• Choices that are principled rather than popular, foregoing immediate gratification for the sake of eternal reward, are the goal.

• God’s authority structures are a blessing. For an eight-year-old this means I can trust Mom’s decision that I need an eight o’clock bedtime. Demanding my own way when I still need parental guidance short-circuits God’s training process.

• Loving parents are a blessing from God. Loyalty to parental instruction is an expression of gratitude to God. The majority culture offers a fraudulent counterfeit by encouraging young people to be loyal to their peers rather than their parents.

• The heart is the wellspring of life. The things children give their hearts to—the hopes, ambitions, desires, dreams, joys, and concerns—will set the course of life.

• Our hearts cannot be trusted (Jer. 17:9). Our hearts will lie to us. Children (and their parents) are easily entrapped and need to be accessible to others for counsel, instruction, and nurture.

• Friendships are for the purpose of glorifying God, encouraging others, showing love and compassion, and gaining encouragement to do what is right.

• There is a sowing and reaping principle in the Bible and we need to develop a harvest mentality. Children who trust and obey God find their heads crowned with wonderful blessings. Of course, this truth cuts both ways. The ten-year-old boy who is lazy about his chores will reap what he is sowing because God will not be mocked.

Each of these issues has a cultural counterpart that is a lie. Our children are confronted with the lies everyday. We must impress these truths on our children.

From Instructing a Child’s Heart.

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Shepherd Press