If we, as Christians, expect our children to "act right"
and we say... "don't lie...don't steal...don't kill"
Why should we expect this... "don't lie...don't steal....don't kill" from those children, who have not had a christian up bringing,.
Won’t this simply put in them a hypocritical patterns of life?
Here are at least some reasons why Christian parents should expect their small children, to behave in ways that fits in with what God asks from us.
I say “small children” because as a child gets older, there are certain things according to God's will that should be done, and others that should not.
It seems to me, for example, while parents should require drug-free, respectful decency from a 15-year-old, it would not do much good, to ask an unbelieving and indifferent 15-year-old to read his Bible every day.
But it would be wise to expect that from a 6-year-old, while we help him to enjoy it and see the benefit in it.
So the following points are reasons why we should expect smaller children to behave as young Christian children, according what God's word says for them to behave.
A respectful and well mannered 5-year-old unbeliever, is better, than 15 year old, defiant, disrespectful, ill-mannered, unbelieving bully.
Which means the family, the friendships, the church, and every body in general will be thankful for parents that restrain the miss behaved children and each them, instead courtesy and kindness and respect, early on in their young lives.
2) Expecting obedience from children while they are still young, shows them in a gentle but firm way,the meaning of sin in relation to God, and their need for Christs love.
There does comes a point where the “law” dawns on the child. At certain age, he realizes that God (not just his parents) requires a certain way of life from him and that he does not like some of it, and that he cannot do all of it.( and this age is at different stages for different children)
It is at this time, the good news of Christ’s dying for our sins becomes all important.
Will the child settle into thinking "I have to work for my salvation?"
Or will he hear and believe that God’s acceptance and forgiveness and love are free gifts—and receive this God, in Christ, as the treasure of his life?
At this stage the child will have a hard time grasping the meaning of the cross if parents have not asked him to do certain things, or not do them, because Jesus does not like him to do these things!
Christ lived and died, to provide for us the righteousness we need (but cannot perform) and to endure for us the punishment we deserve (but cannot endure).
If, as parents, we do not give a certain amount of discipline because of what our children did wrong or perhaps did not do at all..., then the dying of Christ on the cross for our sins, will be difficult for our children to understand...
3) The signs of good manners (“please,” “thank you,” and good eye contact) are habits that, God willing, are filled later with grace and become more helpful ways of blessing others and expressing a humble heart.
When our children are born they are born with empty minds and it is up to us, as parents what is put in those minds.
As parents we do not have the luxury of not teaching them anything at all.
If we do not insist on them being obedient we get the opposite...defiance!
If we do not teach them good manners, we get the opposite....rudeness!
If we do not show them that they need to daily read their Bibles, we get the opposite...no learning at all!
But most of all, while we do try and discipline our children, as God is long suffering with us and loving with us, so we must be with our children;
* Let there be lots of encouragements for anything they do.
* We must forgive them often.
* We must show lots and lots of interest in what they do and praise any effort they have made.
* We must be good role models in showing our love for our Christ.
* We should never be embarrassed to apologize to them for any mistakes we have made.
* We must forgive often...
* We will pray for them without ceasing.
* We must saturate them with the word of God from the moment they are in the womb (the uterus is not sound proof)
* We must forgive often ( did I mention that?).
* Let them see us sing in glorifying and worshiping Jesus.
* We must teach them relentlessly the meaning of the gospel in the hope that God will open their eyes and make them alive. It happens through the gospel (1 Peter 1:22-25).