God is a family oriented God and He is very much interested in the family unit. In fact, the Bible tells us that “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations” – Psalm 33:11 (NKJV). From this, we can see clearly that God’s plans are generational, which tells us instantly that God has vested interest in the upbringing of children. Again, we see this clearly depicted in the life of Abraham, where God was determined to reveal unto Abraham the very plans He had for dealing with Sodom and Gomorrah solely because Abraham was known to command his children to keep the way of the Lord – [17] And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, [18] since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? [19] For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” – Genesis 18:17-19 (NKJV). So the question is how do we raise our children? Surely, if we are to be raising godly children, there must be a godly way of doing this? The answer to that question is a resounding yes! In this article, we will look at seven practical ways that can help us to achieve this goal of raising our children God’s way. Before I go into this though, I will like to highlight that there is a very tight relationship between love and firmness. One of the major issues in raising children is simply in not being able to administer the right dosage of love and firmness. Love has a twin sister called duty or responsibility. Love without duty will make the children headstrong, willful, perverse, selfish and disobedient. On the other hand, where there is stern duty with no love to soften, then we will also raise children who will also display similar traits as previously mentioned.

So let us look at some of these practical ways of raising godly children

1. Uncorrected faults bring unhappiness – Whenever it is necessary to deny the wishes or oppose the will of the child, never leave the child with the thought that it was done solely to punish them or for the gratification of the parents’ desires but for his or her own good.

2. Kindness must be the law of the home but not an excessive indulgence – Kindness and not overindulgence must rule in the home but the parent must never allow the blatant disregard of their word to go unnoticed. Remember, if you fail to correct your child, God will hold you responsible. You are to require obedience, not with a storm of words, but in a kind, loving manner.

Proverbs 23:13-14 NKJV

[13] Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. [14] You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.

3. Have consideration for childish ignorance – Discipline them, be firm but kind, children do not always discern right from wrong and sometimes when they do wrong, they are often treated harshly, such attitude will break the child.

Psalm 103:8-10 NKJV

[8] The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. [9] He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. [10] He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

4. Have sympathy for the unpromising child – It is the unpromising children that require the greatest levels of patience and kindness. Unfortunately, many parents display a cold and unpitying spirit through a lack of love and self-control. Remember that they are the younger heirs of the Lord’s family. God has no grandchildren, we are all God’s children!

Psalm 103:13-14 NKJV

[13] As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. [14] For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

5. Help children to overcome – Do not be overly critical, constructive rather than destructive criticism should be employed, offer yourself undivided attention to help them overcome.

Ephesians 6:4 NKJV

[4] And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

6. Give praise whenever necessary – Express your appreciation of the efforts they put in to do the right things

7. Guard the tones of the voice – Always speak in a calm, unirritated, firm voice without the display of unrestrained emotions and passions. Intense passion does not necessarily prompt obedience and excessive severity simply raises a combative opposing spirit.

As we give ourselves to applying these principles, we will see our children grow in the Lord to the praise and glory of God!

Peace and remain blessed always!

Pastor Okey Okoro

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