Theme For January
Disciplined in God's Word
"Train up a child
in the way he should go: and when he is old,
he will not depart
In our culture there is a
great need not only for children to be taught the Word of God,
but also to be taught how to apply the scriptures to their
everyday lives. They can be taught a measure of the former
without knowing the latter. Children will not learn this by
osmosis. The culture in which we live, is anti God and anti
scripture, and is teaching our children every day. Unless
parents are diligent in the duty of teaching their children the
truths of the Bible, their children will absorb the world’s
belief system and lifestyle.
A. Children must be taught the Word of God.
fathers, have been admonished to teach their children the Word
of God. Most Christian parents have read the following verse:
Ephesians 6:4, "And, ye
fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
A wonderful and blessed home
it is, where the father does this and teaches his children
himself, and brings them up in the nurture and admonition of the
There are all too many
homes, however, where the father does not take this admonition
to heart, and does not do his part in these things. There are
also many homes where the father is not saved and does not care
anything about obeying the scriptures. In these homes where
there is a believing mother, she is likely in conflict. She is
likely to wonder, "Is there no hope for my children? Will they
go the way of their father?" Our questions today are, "Can and
will the Lord use this mother to mold her children’s hearts,
without their father’s help?" And, "What should these mothers
Many women, whose husbands
do not involve themselves in the scriptural teaching of their
children, feel guilty taking on the father’s role in these
things, and may abdicate their own responsibility. They may sit
back and say, "It is the father’s responsibility, and so it is
not mine," and thus they do nothing. Is a mother to take on this
responsibility, also? Women take heart!
There is a very clear
answer! The Lord has given an example, written just for you, to
show that you can have a very large part in the teaching of the
scriptures to your child, and in the molding of his (or her)
spiritual nature. The Lord will use the scriptures you have
taught him, to work in your child’s heart and life, even if his
father does not help in any way.
This most wonderful example
is found in II Timothy. We find in chapter 1, that Timothy’s
faith in God was because of his mother Eunice and his
2 Timothy 1:5, "When I call
to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt
first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am
persuaded that in thee also."
The scriptures tell us that
Timothy’s father was a Greek. The following verse seems to
indicate that he was not a believer:
Acts 16:1, "Then came he to
Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there,
named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess,
and believed; but his father was a Greek:"
Therefore, we can probably
assume that Timothy’s father did not play a part in Timothy’s
When we look over into
chapter 3, we find that Timothy was taught the scriptures from
an early age. We assume because of what was said in chapter 1,
that it was his mother and grandmother who taught him the Word
of God, from childhood.
14 But continue thou in the
things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing
of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou
hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise
unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy
Lois and Eunice taught
Timothy well, starting when he was very young. They evidently
had a very strong influence on his life. Timothy later became a
very faithful believer in Christ and a preacher of the gospel of
the grace of God. No doubt he has influenced many down through
We also can see in verse 15
that the last half of the verse insinuates that Timothy was not
saved as a child. In fact we know from other passages that Paul
calls Timothy his "son" in the gospel, meaning a spiritual
relationship Timothy was saved after he heard Paul preach, no
doubt. Paul admonishes him to remember the things he, Paul, had
taught him and to continue in these things. "But continue thou
in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of,
knowing of whom thou hast learned them."
Thus we know it was the
foundation of the Holy Word of God that prepared Timothy to be
saved when Paul preached the gospel of the grace of God to him.
This foundation came from his mother and grandmother.
Mothers, you can do the same
thing. You can prepare your children to be saved and to live
lives of service to the Lord, if you, too, will be diligent to
teach your children as Eunice and Lois did.
I love the fact that the
Lord also included Timothy’s grandmother in this passage. I
think we can also assume from this, that aunts and uncles and
anyone else close to the child can also have this great
influence on him.
Teaching children to apply the scriptures to their daily lives.
application is so important.
Not only are parents and
grandparents to teach their children correct doctrine and what
the Bible says, but they must also teach children to apply it to
their lives practically. In fact, parents cannot effectively
teach the Word of God to their children without also teaching it
It is a sad thing to see an
adult child of God, who knows what the Bible says, but who does
not allow the Word to work out effectually in his life. This
surely must grieve the Lord also. We know this because there are
passages that state that we can grieve the Lord with our actions
and lives. A couple of these are:
Psalms 78:40-41, "How oft
did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the
desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the
Holy One of Israel."
Ephesians 4:30, "And grieve
not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day
God’s will is that all saved
people live lives pleasing to the Lord!
9 For this cause we also,
since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to
desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in
all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk
worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every
good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians
Not only should parents be
teaching their children the Bible, but they must also make sure
the children know it is relevant to their lives. To effectually
teach and train a child, this must be a very important part of
their upbringing. Parents have been given a promise concerning
this, found in Proverbs 22:
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a
child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not
depart from it."
For me, this has been a
foundation verse, and it’s associated promise, that I clung to
continually throughout the raising of my children.
must not leave this job to others.
Many parents leave all
teaching of the scriptures up to a Sunday School teacher or
other teacher of their children. This is wrong and may not bring
about a life-changing attitude about the Word of God in their
children’s hearts. They must also know it is extremely important
to you, their parent. You must teach them it is relevant to
their daily activities. You yourself, must involve yourself
everyday with your children to teach them this. As opportunities
arise in his day, a mother (or father) needs to point her child
to the scriptures. The scriptures should never be something a
child only thinks about on Sundays.
3. Use the
scriptures to correct your child.
Prov 29:17 "Correct thy son,
and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy
Prov 29:15 "The rod and
reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his
mother to shame.
Note in the above verse that
the rod alone will not effectively correct the child. The
reproof from the Word of God must also be a part of the whole
situations, using the absolute final authority of the scriptures
will make more of an impression on a child, than any words a
parent can say. If your child has already been taught that the
scriptures are true and right and that they are God’s Words and
not man’s, then he will have respect for this authority over
A friend once told me that
she had scolded and disciplined her children for years without
much change until she started using the scriptures to correct
them. She said it was like a light bulb came on. Suddenly the
authority of the scriptures, that is, what God had said in His
Word, that made the difference. She began to see a difference in
their attitudes. Children need an absolute authority in their
lives. This should be the Word of God. They should believe, "If
God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!"
Mothers, whenever possible
in disciplinary situations, again ask the question, "What Bible
verse does this remind you of?" Let the child tell you the
answer. This will get him to really thinking. In other words,
rather than always saying to children, "The Bible says you are
to obey your parents", ask them for the verse, instead. Having
to speak the verse out loud to themselves and to you will help
to imprint it more firmly in their hearts.
Let your children know you
discipline them because you love them. You want the best for
them and you want them to grow up to be godly men and women. You
want them to please the Lord in their lives. When your children
know why you discipline them and correct them from the Word of
God, they accept it much more easily. I have often told of the
time when my children were very young, that one day my son told
me that his neighbor friend’s mother did not love her son. I
asked him why he thought that, and he said that the Bible says
if you love your son you will spank him, and his friend's mother
did not ever spank her son when he didn’t mind. I was so glad
that I had often quoted from Proverbs 13 when spanking him.
Prov 13:24 "He that spareth
his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him
I knew then that my son
truly believed what the scriptures said.
the scriptures should never be used only for disciplinary
To use the scriptures only
to correct a child might produce a negative concept of the Word
of God. The scriptures should be applied to every area of a
person’s life. And it should be taught to children, day and
night, every day.
The Lord gave the following
instruction to those under the law, about teaching their
children the Old Testament law. Should we, who are saved by
grace and thus should love our Lord more than anyone in history,
do any less? I personally believe that every saved parent today
should use this passage in a spiritual application sense to see
how they might more effectively be teaching their children the
Word of God and its application to their lives.
6 And these words, which I
command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt
teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the
way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And
thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall
be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them
upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deut. 6:6-9
5. Apply the
scriptures in a positive way.
During any activity of her
day or time with her child, a mother would do well to find a way
to incorporate the scriptures into this time.
A good question for a mother
to ask a child during these times is, "What Bible verse does
this remind you of?" If, when asked this question, the child
answers, "I don’t know," then you can say, "Well it reminds me
of..." Many children, however, who have been faithfully taught
the scriptures will have a ready answer, even at an early age.
For example, if you are
looking at a beautiful sunset, a good verse would be, "He hath
made every thing beautiful in his time..." (Eccl. 3:11).
Another question might be,
"Who made this beautiful sunset?" A good verse could be,
"...God, who created all things by Jesus Christ..." (Eph. 3:9)
To be able to do an
effective job of this kind of teaching, a mother herself must be
busy reading and memorizing scripture verses in order to be able
to use them in conversations with her children. "...shalt talk
of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest
by the way". (Deut. 6:7)
Another form of teaching in
a positive way, might be to ask a child, "What do we learn from
this?" This could be done after a discussion about something
that happened to the child, or to someone else. It can also be
asked after viewing programs from which a spiritual lesson can
For example: My husband was
sitting with some of our grandchildren in his lap, watching a
"Veggie Tales" song video. After each song, he asked, "What do
we learn from this song?" The children responded with positive
answers about moral lessons, and a couple of them quoted verses
in their answers. I felt this was a positive influence on their
lives in many ways.
As an additional note here,
I must say that I am not advocating that when a child views
something that is not spiritually healthy, it can be righted by
a mere Bible discussion. Some parents seem to take this view and
usually it is an excuse for not having the inner fortitude to
turn "the set" off. On the contrary, the sinful practice seen or
words spoken that go into the child's mind will be forever
6. Use Bible
games to teach. Most educators know that children learn very
easily in a positive, game type of atmosphere.
A mother might choose to
play a game with the question, "What verse does this remind you
of?" Come up with hypothetical situations and ask the child what
verse would apply. I have done this in Sunday School and in
Bible conferences where I have taught. Kids usually like this
game very much. They need to have a few verses stored away
however, for this one. (Psalms 119:11: "Thy word have I hid in
mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.")
Another good thing to do is
to cut pictures out and paste them in a special book, or all
around the house and talk about Bible verses that apply to each
Post Bible verses around the
house. "And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house,
and on thy gates." Find ways to play games with these posted
verses. "I Spy" is a good one. Ex.: "I spy a verse about God’s
In this way, a mother is
encouraging memorization or remembering the meaning of the
verses. Even preschoolers can learn verses that are written out
for them to look at. They will remember certain letters, or how
the verse looks as a whole.
Play certain Bible games
that help children to remember verses, or to learn new ones. One
example is to write out a verse on a board with some of the
words left blank, and have children fill in the missing words.
"Hangman" can also be
adapted to this and is good for verses also. In hangman, you can
have missing words instead of missing letters. Short parts of
verses are good for this one.
In a similar way, a mother
might create games by writing many verses on 3 X 5 cards. These
could be the verses that she wishes her children to be familiar
with. She can keep these together for playing different games.
One game could be "I spy".
Simply place these verses around a room, and play the game. For
younger children, a picture from a magazine could be pasted to
the 3 X 5 card. The child then would be able to recognize the
picture and associate a verse with the picture. The picture
could either be on the same side as the written verse, or on the
opposite side, depending upon the form of the game to be played.
A mother might wish to use
cards with pictures on the opposite sides as a type of
"flashcard" game. Show one side, maybe the picture side, and the
child tries to think of a verse the picture reminds him of. Or
the parent might show the verse side and read it to her child.
The child will answer as to which picture is on the back and
what the picture means to him as to how it applies to the verse.
Teach your children why learning Bible verses is good for them.
A good verse for children to
absorb the meaning of, is Psalms 119:11.
Psalms 119:11, "Thy word
have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
The scriptures plainly
state, that it is God’s Word, implanted within our hearts and
minds, that helps us to forsake sin.
Therefore, the best thing a
parent can do for a child is to help him to memorize verses.
Parents today tend to think this is too hard for children, but
in actuality it is too hard for the parents! Parents are usually
too lazy or too busy to put the effort into helping their
children to learn verses. Children are like sponges, they can
learn so much more easily than most people realize. When my
children were in Christian school in the 70’s, they had to
memorize a couple of verses a week, starting in kindergarten.
The amount was increased each year in grade school. By the time
they were in high school, they had to memorize whole passages or
chapters, each week. For Bible team contests they also memorized
whole books of the Bible! This to me, was an amazing feat, but
they both actually accomplished this!
Teach your children that
everything the Bible says is right. That is why we must know
what it says.
Psalms 33:4: "For the word
of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth."
Psalms 119:105: "Thy word is
a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Teach your children that
God’s Word will guide their daily walk and their lives. As they
acknowledge God’s Word and put it into it’s rightful place in
their lives, the Lord will direct their paths. Remember parents,
to acknowledge (in Proverbs 3:6), the Lord, is to acknowledge
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the
LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy
paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and
depart from evil.
Psalms 19:14 Let the words
of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in
thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
8. Teach your children the
story of Jesus’ confrontation with Satan, in Matthew 4:1-11.
This is a wonderful Bible lesson to teach the importance of
learning the scriptures. Each time Satan tempted Him, Jesus, our
Lord, quoted Bible verses to him in response. In each of these
times, Satan could not argue with the Word of God, and finally
left our Lord for a while. This is a great lesson for spiritual
application and should be taught to every child.
We must conclude that there is nothing more important than
teaching children the scriptures.
Mothers, teach your children
the scriptures. Teach them diligently! Write them all about your
house and talk of them when you are walking, sitting in your
house, going to bed, or rising in the mornings. Use every means
available to you to do this. Show your children by your example
and by your conversations with them, that God's Word is the most
important thing they will ever learn!
Courtesy of Women of Grace
Service of Yahweh