Exodus 20:12. Honour your father and your mother.
Compare this reading with the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:1-3:
“Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” Honour your father and your mother is the first commandment with a promise – “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth. Fathers do not exasperate your children instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
To bring up our children in the way indicated above we must provide a biblical education for them. By this I mean instruction in biblical truths. I do not mean necessarily attending a church school, although that may be a good thing to do.
Ordinary secular education is obviously important but even more important is a consistent and reliable biblical instruction so that they know what to believe. God says to His people in Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
‘Hear, O Israel: ‘The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
In all the normal everyday things that you do, let the gospel and its implications come through. Let your children see that you live under the rule of a king who is wise, loving and wonderful. In work, play and all forms of family living let them see your submission to God in such a way that it sweetens their own lives.
Then we must provide our children with role models. Your children will not learn what marriage is about from any other person but yourself. They will understand marriage from what happens in their own home. We must keep our roles very clear and distinct. Fathers, be the heads of your homes; don’t abandon your responsibilities; don’t leave all the decisions to mother; don’t leave her to handle all the things that happen in the home, and don’t leave her out either. The world that matters most is in the home with your children and your wife.
Mothers be a helpmeet to your husbands. Let the children see what a wife ought to be. Make sure that the roles are clearly distinguished and executed in a loving and affectionate family atmosphere.
Is your home like that? Warm and caring?
Our homes should be places of warmth, welcome, love, caring and safety. Our children learn simply by living there, observing us and breathing in the atmosphere we create. Of course we include verbal instruction at the appropriate moments. Is your home like that? If not will you talk to God about it?