"MY SON, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;
2 For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquillity [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you."
Dear people of God, in today's egalitarian society, it could be quite a challenge raising a godly family.
However, today's lead Holy Bible text gives us an idea of how to address this issue, which is the basis for today's post.
We will consider a number of very important tips any parent can use to ensure the family remains in the fear and love of God Almighty and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:
1. First things first, parents must live and show example of godliness to the entire family everywhere and every time. You cannot issue one set of rules for yourself and another set of rules for your kids. This would only cause confusion in their little minds and create problems for them later in life.
Most importantly, your words, thoughts, actions and reactions must be consistent with the commandments of God in the Holy Bible. Only then would God's Holy Spirit guide and direct you in the paths of righteousness. Only then would it be easy for your children to imbibe the godly principles you want to pass onto them.
2. Secondly, there must be family prayer time every single day to worship and thank God for all His goodness and mercies upon you as a family. You must make up your mind to understand that it is the blessings of God that makes you rich without sorrow and additional hard work cannot make you richer - Proverbs 10:22.
When you understand this fact, then it becomes easy to always create time for prayer, Bible study and discussions with the entire family where the Truth of God's Word is digested in an atmosphere of love in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
3. You must consistently expose the family to godly literature, movies and music. Every type of entertainment you consume must be one that edifies you and glorifies God.
Whether you believe it or not, dear friend, ungodly literature, music and movies carry foul spirits that defile the person exposed to them.
To confirm this fact, let us consider the Words of Jesus Christ in Luke 11:34-36, "Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness.
35 Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness.
36 If then your entire body is illuminated, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright [with light], as when a lamp with its bright rays gives you light.
So clearly, you can see that you edify or defile yourself by the kind of things you expose yourself to and so you must understand this, practice it personally and teach same to your family.
4. You must communicate with your family members with language that edifies. If your child or spouse offends you, do not curse no matter how angry you are, but speak a word of prayer over that child or spouse to rebuke the spirit that is causing the child or spouse to misbehave.
The Word of God tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue and those that indulge in it shall eat the fruit thereof - Proverbs 18:21.
Every word we speak is a prophecy into our lives or the life of the person to whom it is spoken so you must be careful not to speak evil into the child's or spouse's life out of anger, for it shall come to pass as you have decreed.
Whether the child or spouse is present or not, whether the child or spouse has offended you or not, speak into the life of that person what you want to see and it shall come to pass. Take note that no matter how terrible your child or spouse may be behaving before you have read this post, begin TODAY and NOW to speak words of prophecy according to God's Word into the person's life.
That child or spouse must surely repent, come back to his or her senses and return to godliness in Christ Jesus. That is the power of a praying parent and spouse.
5. You must show by example and also teach your children a deep, reverential, sincere fear, love, respect and appreciation for God always as the Golden rule. No matter what happens in life, you must learn to appreciate God as the Word of God says.
This is very important, dear friend. Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God."
You must also teach your children respect for others as they see in you also. The Holy Bible will always guide in this because it is the complete Book of Truth in instruction in holiness and righteous living in the fear of God and respect for humans.
6. It is pertinent to note that discipline is part of a child's upbringing so you must ensure to use this when it is necessary. Again, the Holy Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:15 & 17, "The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother to shame... Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your heart."
Discipline can take different forms such as ensuring the child does not always have his way especially when you know it would harm him. A little spanking is necessary to pass the message to the child to know that his or her behaviour is clearly unacceptable.
Of course, it is equally necessary to let the child know why he or she must be disciplined so he knows the limits of his behaviour. Do not therefore be afraid to discipline the child who errs.
Dear friend, always remember that it is God Who has given us the family we have including the children as a gift. We must give account of this gift and so it is important to ensure that godly principles are part of your life as well as your family so that the blessings of God would flow seamlessly and the Holy Spirit would remain in your family.
Then whenever others, especially non-Christians, ask the secret of your success in raising a godly family, you will easily use the opportunity to thank and glorify God as the One Who has done it and you will evangelise to share the secrets with your listeners and point them to God and His Word in the Holy Bible as the solution to every problem in this life.
May the good Lord bless you as you heed His Word today, act on it and share with others in Jesus' Most Holy Name, Amen.