Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Raising Godly Children

Last night was our monthly homeschool support group meeting, and the topic was "Raising Godly Children". There was supposed to be a panel discussion, but due to illness/a death in the family/ travel, only one couple from the intended panel was able to come to the meeting. Cindy and Randy graciously shared their thoughts, even though feeling much "on the spot", since obviously being the only presenters meant that they KNEW how to raise Godly children!
Really though, their 13-y-o son is evidence that they do have some wisdom to share.

First of all, what is meant by "godly children"? One definition for "godly" is "religious, pious, or having reverence for God". That is a good starting point. But when we talk about having godly children, we are really talking about more than having "religious" children. I looked up "pious", and that can mean "dutiful, kind, devout, pure". "Reverent" means "showing great respect, especially for God". That is the direction we are going in when we talk about raising godly children. Godliness has everything to do with character. I want to raise children who have a deep respect for God and for the Bible, which is His gift to us. I want my children to be kind, morally pure, loyal, honest, responsible, diligent, considerate, courageous, and compassionate. I want them to model themselves after the character of God - to be "godly".

Here are some of the thoughts shared at the meeting last night, by our "panel" and by others:
  • What goes in through the eyes and ears has a definite effect on our children's character, and eventually comes out in their actions and attitudes; be very careful of TV, movies, books, magazines, music, video games... what are the values and attitudes being presented? what are the images that are being seared into our children's minds?

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

  • Be selective about the people your child spends time with.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

  • Be deliberate in teaching the doctrines of the Christian faith to your children. Do not rely on Sunday School or church children's ministries to do that job for you, because often they are not teaching these things either. The Bible is clear in Deuteronomy 6 that parents are to teach their children.

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Psalm 34:11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

  • We must not separate our schools, our weeks, our lives into "secular" and "sacred"; in other words, biblical teaching must happen beyond just "Bible class" or "family devotions" or "Sunday morning". Everything we do either points our children to God or away from Him. The Hebrew method of education is to walk beside our children (our students) and let them learn by example - this is discipleship! It is not lecturing our children and telling them what to think, regardless of what they see in our lives.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

  • Raising godly children takes time - and effort - and might mean we parents have to give up some of our own desires and activities and interests for a time... but the end result is so worth it

Some suggested resources:

A Biblical Home Education: Building Your Homeschool on the Foundation of God's Word by Ruth Beechick

The Seven C's of History and other materials from Answers in Genesis

Passport2Purity by Dennis and Barbara Rainey (a workbook/book/CD set meant to be used in a special parent-child weekend with your child as he/she approaches adolescence)

Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson (how to use the Hebrew method of instruction in your homeschool)

GREAT ARTICLE!!!! "Christian Kids Are Too Gentle to Live Amongst the Wolves"


Creech Family said...

So sorry I missed such a great topic (and one I need!). Thanks for the summary and links -

HeartofWisdom said...

Thank you for the mention and the link to the article.