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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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