Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:1-4

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

Parents are called by God to train their children for eternity — “Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). As we have seen previously, parents are to be to their children what God is to them. We now consider our responsibility to disciple our children — to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Let’s consider the goals of discipline and instruction for our children. The first and foremost goal is that our children come to know and to love Christ. Failure here is the greatest failure any parent can have. Parents are responsible to see that their children understand the gospel and have the opportunity to respond to it. As your children get older, look for opportunities to share their need of Christ and what Christ has done to make salvation possible for them. We are to evangelize our children.

The second goal is that our children may be equipped to obey and to serve Christ. Once our children have been brought into God’s kingdom by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, it is the parent’s responsibility to train (equip) them to obey and to serve Christ. This is primarily done through example and specific training. Parents need to demonstrate to their children how to read and meditate upon the Scriptures and how to prayer. They need to model before their children consistency in worship and the importance of personal worship.

All other goals, as important as they may be, are secondary to these goals. Unfortunately very few parents attempt to fulfill these two most important goals. Psalm 78:5-7 defines a parent’s responsibility to equip their children — “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children; that the generations to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.”

Proverbs 22:6 is a tremendous promise to parents — “Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” When parents are faithful to train up their children to love, trust, obey, and serve God, they can claim Proverbs 22:6 and trust God to fulfill His promise.

Lord, my heart’s desire is to see my children and grandchildren loving, trusting, obeying and serving you. Give them the desire to meet with you daily. Enable them to know the gospel and live by it. Thank you for the spiritual fruit I see in them. Please continue to protect them and enable them to grow in their faith. Prepare them for eternity.


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