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Raising Godly Children

Allow me to preface this series with a disclaimer...you as parents may do all the right things, consistently and with love, and still see a child choose poorly. In the Old Testament, the Law had the people take the rebellious child outside the camp and stone him to death---not the parents. We cannot negate the children's choice to do wrong, even after all the parents' instruction. 

Child training is not a quick, one-time formula that guarantees success. All children and parents have that sin nature that we fight.

 

Dear Master of a Godly Child

I asked,

“How does one raise

    A godly child?”

When I imagine my child

   A grown man,

I do not see

   A scientist,

   A doctor,

   A philosopher,

   An athlete.

I desire to see a good man

   With character,

      Humility,

      And love.

How do I raise such a man?

If I wanted a scientist,

   I would saturate his life

      With science,

         Reading,

         Talking,

         Living science.

If I wanted a doctor,

   I would fill his mind     

      With ways to help heal.

If I wanted a philosopher,

   I would talk

      Theories,

      Causes,

      Effects.

If I wanted a musician,

   I would give his hands

      Instruments,

      Music,

      Notes.

If I wanted an athlete,

   I would concentrate his time

      With balls, bats, gloves.

 

Dear Master of a Godly child,

Why is it

   That we know how to raise people

      Of this world,

   But not men

      Of Your kingdom.

Why is it

   That we spend our life

      Training for time,

   But not for eternity?

Why is it

   That we seek causes

   But not the ultimate Causer?

Why is it

   That we practice music

      For our entertainment,

    Rather than play for Your glory?

Why is it

   That we exercise for our interest

   And not Your own?

 

When I asked,

“How does one raise a godly child?”

I can look

   To the world

      For ideas---

   Saturating his life,

   Filling his mind,

   Talking, reasoning,

   Giving, practicing,

   Concentrating his time.

But I must ultimately

   Look to You

      The source

         Of what is good,

            Character,

            Humility,

            Love.

For saturating his life

   With Your Word,

Filling his mind

   With Your truth,

Talking, reasoning

   Your values,

Giving, practicing

   For Your strength to grow,

Concentrating his time

   On You.

 

Dear Master of a Godly Child,

How does one raise a godly child?

How does anyone be godly?

By spending time

   With You.

By living,

   Thinking,

   Talking,

   Practicing,

   Playing

All with Your best in mind.

“So whether we eat or drink

      Or whatever we do,

Do it all for the glory of You.” (I Corinthians 10:31)

So how does one raise a godly child?

“Teach these words of Yours to my children,

      Talking about them

         When you sit, at home,

         When you walk along the road,

         When you lie down,

         When you get up.

Write them on the door frames

   Of your houses,

   Of your gates…” (Deuteronomy 11:19-21)

Dear Master of a Godly Child,

How does one raise a godly child?

By keeping You before their eyes

   In every aspect of life,

By knowing You,

By teaching You,

By showing You.

 Written June 3, 1992

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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