Speaking the truth in love – the high calling of being a parent!

Posted on September 17, 2014 · Posted in Instructing

Note these important words from Instructing a Child’s Heart.

“As parents, it is our divinely appointed task to commend God’s works to the next generation (Ps. 145:4). We are to proclaim God’s truth—not our own ideas. We get a sense of the importance of God’s words in Deuteronomy 32:46–47, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. . . . They are not just idle words for you—they are your life” (emphasis author’s).

The Scriptures teach repeatedly that God’s Word alone provides truth that can bring life to the hearer. Our words must echo this. But they must not only echo word for word. A mere echo could have a hollow ring, as it did for the Pharisees. These life-giving words must be processed, applied and taught with love, so that our children learn how to put that word into practice in their circumstances. 

Scripture teaches that parents’ words carry weight because they are messengers of the living God. Our very lives express God’s Word as well. Christ’s physical presence in our world showed us what God was like, because Christ said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9). When we speak and live the words of God, we too speak and live with authority (see 1 Pet. 4:11).

Honor for God, respect for authority, respect for others, and a gracious and productive atmosphere in our homes will be some of the blessings of biblical formative instruction. Modern homes can be the shelter where dignity, loyalty to family values and standards are kept, helping our children to face the world and its challenges each day. Parenting is not just child-care. We can have a vision for formative instruction that will transform our homes and communities.”

This post is an excerpt from Chapter One of Instructing a Child’s Heart. This book provides the biblical foundation for parenting. Give special thought to how you speak to your children. God calls you to speak his truth in love. The spiritual health of your children hangs in the balance.

Instructing a Child's Heart

 
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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.