Telling, Training, and Teaching Our Children

Biblical Stewardship and Child Rearing


Edward G. Rice

Dec. 30 2002

Submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements

for the course "Christian Home" #704

Video Studies Program

Professor Larry R. Thornton

Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary

Table of Contents


Telling, Training, and Teaching Our Children  
Abstract 3
1.0 Introduction 4
2.0 Telling = Discipline Instilled 5
2.1 Early Discipline = Betimes 7
2.2 Consistent Discipline = Betimes 7
2.3 Continual Discipline = Betimes 10
3.0 Training = Training Techniques Worth Learning 10
3.1 Early Training 11
3.2 Consistent Training 13
3.3 Continual Training 16
4.0 Teaching = Imparting Knowledge and Creating Wisdom 17
4.1 Early Teaching 18
4.2 Consistent Teaching 19
4.3 Continual Teaching 21
5.0 Is it too Late to Start Now? 22
5.1 Not too Late for Adolescence 23
5.2 Not too Late for Teenagers 23
5.3 Not too Late for Your Grandchildren's Sake. 24
6.0 Conclusion = You Can Do It and It is Worth It 24
Bibliography 24
Appendix 1 The Duty of Parents to Children "Christian Behavior" @1674 by John Bunyan 25
Appendix 2 CHARACTER, by Dr. Jeff Owens [6] Excerpts from Chapter 3 pg 17- 26
Appendix 3 Excerpts from Adrian Rogers' book Ten Secrets for a Successful Family 27


The Word of God leaves Christians in this world with some very solemn responsibilities of stewardship. None is greater than being the stewards of a next generation and rearing our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The Biblical principles of child rearing are greater than "spare the rod and spoil the child". They engulf the principles of 'telling' a child and forcing their obedience, 'training' a child to respond to others, to authorities and to boundaries in their life, thus curbing their selfishness and instilling selflessness. And then, when these two mainframes are in place, 'teaching' a child truth. An important contention of this thesis is that proper 'telling' and 'training' will create a clean, complete, and ready vessel for the 'teaching' phase. The three of these concepts are inseparable. They interplay throughout your child's development. But understanding each and conscientiously and cunningly applying each, in proper manner and proportion, will produce a responsible, selfless vessel suitable for use by God the Father for his kingdom and for his name's sake. Doing so is not a task that is to be taken lightly nor without proper parental training. Parental training needs to be sought and pursued with more vigor than one would pursue a teaching degree. In the presenting of this concept of 'telling', 'training' and 'teaching' we have just whet the appetite for the research necessary to "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

"Telling", "Training", and "Teaching" Our Children

Biblical Stewardship in Child Rearing

1.0 Introduction

The passing car awoke her. She had dozed while sitting at the kitchen table. She looked at the clock, it was 1:12 am. She remembered the call of the policeman which had ended their last vigil for their wayward daughter. She remembered the drunk driving arrest which had canceled the family car insurance and the second arrest for shoplifting all within weeks of her daughters 18th birthday. The ache of her heart moistened her eye as she ran through the past 4 years of horror brought home by a rebellious daughter and a wayward son now serving time for his drug arrests. She fought back the tears assuring herself that lessons had been learned and things would get better now. They could have had car problems, or lost track of time at the mall.

Things don't get better by themselves when children turn out wrong. In the hundreds of cases depicted by the above generic paragraph things often got worse. "It is easier to raise boys and girls than to repair men and women" is the motto for a kids camp in Versailles, Indiana. It is true even for repairing our teenagers. Christian parents end up in these late night vigils because they do not systematically raise their children with a conscious emphasis on "telling", "training" and "teaching" their kids. One can train a dog to be disciplined, obedient and loyal if one is smarter than the dog. When it comes to training a child one needs to outsmart the little darling for a longer period of time, about 13 years, and outsmart them through a sin nature that is more persistent than a dog's disposition. However, one can raise a disciplined, obedient and responsible young man or young lady in this society. All of our society is pitted against us, so it takes an absolute resolve to learn and apply these "telling", "training" and "teaching" techniques effectively on our children. And no matter where one is at in the parenting role, it is not to late to start today. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks, true enough, but they are not dogs and these are not tricks.

Parents need the "telling", "teaching" and "training" first. A parent without discipline and training will not discipline and train well. Consider the first of these concepts which is called "telling". A child is brought into this world with an idea that everything revolves around him. This deep rooted selfishness rules the child until he is told (telling) his first "no." Selfishness rebels against being told "no." In fact self discipline is a selflessness that comes from telling ones own selfishness "No!" Parents without proper self discipline will not enforce their "No" and they will, in turn, train their child to effectively rebel against all of their "No's." When does this discipline or telling of 'No', training begin? Dr. Bill Rice says in jest "Well for a little boy you should spank him the day he comes home from the hospital, for a little girl you could wait a day or two.1" The Bible calls this discipline "betimes" or early on in the morning of their day. Proverbs 13:24 says "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." One must examine this principle of discipline and "telling of no" carefully if one is to successfully train a dog, but more so if one is going to raise a selfless, responsible, thoughtful adult.

"Telling" and training go hand in hand and should start "betimes." Training is more intense than "telling", and involves the purposeful installation of a learned behavior. Dr. John R. Rice, Baptist Preacher and successful father of disciplined, obedient and responsible children, relates an account of an undisciplined adolescent refusing to close the front door after his fathers insistence. After dad got up and closed the door himself, Dr. Rice said. "Leave that boy with me for just a little while and he will go in the door closing business."2 Obedience is more than told, it must be trained. You can tell your dog to not eat off the table, or to come when called, but unless you take the time and make the intelligent effort to train it, your dog will get on your table, and run uncontrolled when let off his leash. Many parents do the telling but never do the training. They are the ones who 'tell' 4 or 5 times, saying "I am not telling you again.", count to 10, then accept the child's disobedience and get up and close the door themselves. They are training the child's behavior all right, but they will not like the result when they are on a 1:12 AM vigil.

If "telling" and "training" go well, a well developed, selfless child who knows where all his borders are will be hungry for teaching. Teaching is the filling of the mind with knowledge, understanding and wisdom. A bucket or container can only be filled if the holes are patched up. A child can only be taught if he is contained in body, mind and spirit. I love to teach high school. I will not teach in public school again. A child who has no self discipline, no respect for rules or authority has no place in higher learning. They should be dismissed with prejudice, until they get their lower learning, that is why it was called 'high school!' Only when the telling and the training are complete does one readily accept teaching, the instilling of knowledge, understanding and wisdom. In fact, every time the telling and training are completed properly one is eager and an open vessel for knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

These are some powerful assertions about child rearing. They have been in front of us, printed in a Bible for about 6,000 years now. This paper outlines these three interrelated principles of child rearing from a Biblical perspective, providing Biblical and practical proof of these three important assertions, that "telling" a child, "training" a child and "teaching" a child are all necessary for success and interrelated for effectiveness..

2.0 Telling = Discipline Instilled

I hate the 'Spock' mentality that has permeated our society for a couple woeful generations. It is said that you will harm the psyche of a child by forcing your will on them just because you are bigger than they. Our prisons are filled with people who were raised with this kind of a perverted parenting philosophy. They eventually run into someone who is bigger than they are, and their selfish nature is forced to bend to society's needs. It is the job of a parent to force their will on a child, not because they are bigger, but because they are responsible.

"Telling", in this dissertation, generally will involve the negative. The first command necessary in the upbringing of a child, or in the training of a pet will be related to the word 'No.' If you watch a young parent's 'No' get ignored repeatedly by their child, it is evident and simple that they did not get across to the child that 'No', 'Stop', or 'Quit' have an immediate meaning which is costly to ignore. Such parents will eventually resort to begging their child to stop. They have reversed the parent child role. The child is firmly in control of the situation. The parent did not make it costly, in fact, we will see in the next section that they actually trained their child to ignore the command and pursue their own selfish little way. In considering the Biblical rearing of a child it is first and foremost necessary to train a child that what you say, is final. If you don't get them to pay strict attention to your 'yes' and 'no', there is little need in pursuing the concepts of training and teaching found in the rest of your child rearing task. Even if your starting late (even as late as your rebellious teenager, see chapter 5), you will have to start at this point of telling them 'No' and causing them to heed. "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word." (Psalm 119:9) If they will not heed a parent, they will not heed God's word nor the police officer. They will be forced to heed the correctional officer, however.

Let's look first at a definition of discipline, and see where it fits into the telling of a child 'No.'

dis·ci·pline (d¹s"…-pl¹n) n. 1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement. 2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control. 3.a. Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order. b. A systematic method to obtain obedience: a military discipline. c. A state of order based on submission to rules and authority: a teacher who demanded discipline in the classroom. 4. Punishment intended to correct or train. 5. A set of rules or methods, as those regulating the practice of a church or monastic order. 6. A branch of knowledge or teaching. --dis·ci·pline tr.v. dis·ci·plined, dis·ci·plin·ing, dis·ci·plines. 1. To train by instruction and practice, especially to teach self-control to. 2. To teach to obey rules or accept authority. See Synonyms at teach. 3. To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience. See Synonyms at punish. 4. To impose order on: needed to discipline their study habits. Middle English, from Old French descepline, from Latin disciplºna, from discipulus, pupil. See DISCIPLE 3

Notice here that discipline has emphasis on 'training.' In this analysis we are contending that the 'telling phase' must precede any 'training phase.' A child must be forced to be obedient to your authority before you can actively engage in aggressive training. We must not, however, separate training completely from forced obedience. You are indeed engaged in training in the telling phase. Many parents have trained their children to ignore them, either completely, or until their commands reach an excited decibel range that constitutes yelling. Unacceptable. Your child must in this phase be trained to respond immediately to your verbal requests. Your 'No' must mean NO. It must be unwaverable. When you make any exception, the child will embark on an exploration and training session to figure out how he was successful at breaking your will and getting his own selfish way. No exceptions. Never too busy and never extenuating circumstance. No 'tissy fits' allowed. No rebellion against your decision should be tolerated. This is a contest of wills. When the child wins, they are trained in the techniques of getting their own way and it is remarkable how quickly they learn to manipulate a parent.

There has been much said and written about the strong willed child. Let me suggest here that most children considered 'strong willed' are not that because of heredity or personality. They are such because they have been trained by a weak willed parent. Remember, the telling phase is a battle of the wills. Every time they win, children get reinforcement that strengthens their determination to always get their way, and to do what ever it takes to get it. A strong selfish will, is not inherited it is trained, retrained, reinforced and exercised. Dr. Bill Rice says much about the necessity of breaking the selfish and rebellious will of a child. Until you break, (i.e. effectively control) their will successfully and consistently you will be contending with a strong willed child. Because you have built up the strength of their will and it is much stronger than yours, you will be building a self-centered manipulative juvenile delinquent who must have his selfishness broken by some other authority. Most parents who are in the very throws of doing this, rationalize their behavior away and hope for the best. Since they have neglected their responsibilities as parents, their hope is usually futile.

2.1 Early Discipline = Betimes

When should we start this telling phase where a child is forced to deal with responsive obedience? The answer is 'Immediately.' I mean that in two distinct ways. First, if you have been lax in this obedience training, the time to stop laxness is 'Immediately.' No matter the age of your child, your child rearing responsibility starts right here. Irresponsible, failed parents used to have their children drafted into the military. In less than one week, some drill sergeant will have the selfish, shiftless, rebellious teenager completely trained in immediate obedience. His bed will be made, shoes shined, the cap will be neatly on his toothpaste. His underwear will be folded into exact 4 by 4 inch squares, placed in an immaculate drawer with identically folded socks and T-shirts. How did this all happen in 1 week? Exact obedience was demanded by one who had a stronger will than their little lad had ever run into in his life. It started the second they stepped off the bus at the training base.

Secondly, starting immediately implies starting the day the little rascal gets home from the hospital. The infant is starting his manipulations almost that soon, and a parent needs to be very conscious of that. In the first weeks of a child's life, they figure out that screaming gets the attention that they desire. We never let ours fuss and cry because of that, but we were conscious that a child learns to lie with a cry before he learns to lie with a word. The battle of wills begins very very early in your child. Engage in the battle just as early and you'll have a hand up on any strong will that may be in the making. Start your battle of wills 'betimes!'

Start today, if not earlier. If you started late, you will have to show a will that can overcome the previous training you did by backing down. This is not for amateurs, wimps, or spineless people, you must demand the obedience. If you back down after the demand you will reinforce the strength of their self will proportional to the power of your demand. Also, don't yell. Let them know that things are changed, have a paddle in hand, let them know that from now on obedience is not optional. Could you do such as late as a teenager? The drill sergeant does, and you could as well. In his book "Training a Child" Michael Pearl provides several illustrations of parents with children of various ages, effectively initiating this type of victory in the battle of wills. Parental success in this battle is paramount.

2.2 Consistent Discipline = Betimes

Much has already been said about being consistent in warnings about backing down and what it trains. Consistency, however, is more than being absolute, it is being absolute over an extended period of time. I heard a mom recently say, "I tried spanking and it didn't work." What she was saying is 'my way' works better than God's way. What she was doing was trying the world's way instead of God's way. God promises her failure.

Let's examine the use of the word 'rod' in scripture. A good first step is to get a clear English definition:

rod (r¼d) n. 1. A thin straight piece or bar of material, such as metal or wood, often having a particular function or use. 2. A shoot or stem cut from or growing as part of a woody plant. 3.a. A stick or bundle of sticks or switches used to give punishment by whipping. b. Punishment; correction. 4. A scepter, staff, or wand symbolizing power or authority. [3]

Clearly in scripture the 'rod' speaks of corporal punishment. Corporal simply means "of or relating to the body." We are not talking about mental punishment, i.e. "Time-outs", sitting in corners, enduring screaming lectures, writing 100 times on the board, or waiting till your father gets home. There is an area of the body that is an altogether fitting place for corporal punishment and your great grandmother knew just where and how to use it. Then it was fittingly described as applying the board of education to the seat of learning. Let's look then, at the use of the word rod in several scriptures:

A child then, who will not heed simple commands, has clearly bought and paid for an old fashioned aptly applied spanking. Not after the third time, not after counting to 5, not "wait till you get home", but a spanking. This must be consistent and assured. In our society it may be necessary to delay the punishment, but the child should know from no more than a glance, that they have bought and paid for it and it is inevitable. Consistency is essential. When the child figures out that there is inconsistency when you are dining in a fancy restaurant, you will never enjoy a fancy restaurant again and they will have a victory under their training belt. Consistency means 'reliability or uniformity of successive results or events.' [3]

Notice some well known things about child discipline that are best quoted from a skilled Bible Preacher, in his book "How to Rear Infants.".

What more can be said about making our telling consistent and effective. It will have long paying dividends for you and for your child.

2.3 Continual Discipline = Betimes

When a child has received early and consistent discipline through the 'telling' phase of this treatise one should not think that they are through and ready to move on to the 'training' phase. No, a child will revisit every rule and will re-test every boundary for the next 18 years. Your training methods must build upon each other, but they will all need to be revisited on a regular basis. Think of your child as a disciple, you as a master. He is in training, you are his trainer and mentor. Take this training serious. Put conscious thought and endless study into this task of training up a child. You too are a disciple, you too have a master. Your child needs training about life, you about parenting. Make sure this training is ongoing, and that the attitude of being a disciple is continual in both parent and child.

3.0 Training = Training Techniques Worth Learning

We have developed, thus far, that there is a difference in 'telling', 'training' and 'teaching'. In the development of this difference and their overlap we are now examining the details of training. We can not examine training in complete isolation of the other two child rearing principles and we have at this point a pretty good grasp on the discipline involved in telling a child 'no' and instilling the selfless motivation that induces this 'no' to be meaningful. We actually involved ourselves in some measure of training to get this far, so we need to examine more fully the training methods of child rearing.

Training is the repetition of a discipline that produces a desired behavior. The chocolate milk example sited in the last chapter is an excellent illustration of training. Proverbs 22:6 gives the clear instruction to "train up a child." This training definition implies that it takes repetition, and we can know that repetition involves time. It would be easier, faster and more efficient to forego any training and just clean the chocolate mess and put the treat in a sippy cup that will not spill. It would save so much effort to avoid the training and put the ceramics way up out of their reach. It would be more learned to put child proof covers over all of our electrical outlets and side step the requirement to 'train up a child in the way he should go.' Yes it would. But to take the easier path, the faster solution, and the more learned approach is to neglect a parents responsibility to train up a child. This training is not the easiest path, not the natural tendency, and not the acceptable method for leading psychologists of our day. But it is the responsible parents directive from God, and it will consume time and effort. The repetition required for training will take more time. Be assured here that this does not dismiss the responsibility. It simply requires that you prioritize training into your time schedule and recognize it will be time far better spent than other 'things' in your life.

Repetition requires time and repetition requires consistency. Anyone who has been involved in training at any level, and with any creature, will recognize that it is far easier to do something for oneself than to train someone else to do it. The consistency we mention here includes some downright tenacity. An ability to say, 'it is my responsibility and I will accomplish this training task or die in the process, I am in this for life.' Then recognize it is for their life, not just yours. Consistency in this training can also imply and certainly requires consistency between parents. Hillary Rodham Clinton has already taken a lot of justified criticism for her audacious written opinion that it takes a community to raise a child. God says it takes a mother and a father, who have bonded together with a commitment that they will stay faithfully together until 'death do us part.' God say's that these two become one flesh, and when it comes to training a child it can be clearly illustrated why they need to be as 'one.' When one parent refuses to take part in this time consuming challenging training of a child, they will be undermining what the other parent accomplishes. Parents need to sit down, without little Johnny listening, and stratagize the training process, methods, and progress that they should pursue. They need to be 'one flesh' in this effort and it will take all the brain power the two of them can muster to find any measure of success.

3.1 Early Training is Betimes. We have all heard the adage "You can't teach old dogs new tricks." The shred of truth in this adage is that it is far more challenging and difficult to teach an old dog anything. Having trained a few old dogs, let me emphasize here the importance of training 'betimes.' The training will be done very early on. The matter of consciously and purposefully starting this training early circumvents the amount of, and the much more difficult task of, retraining that most parents must engage in.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Prov 22:6) The word "train" only shows up three times in the English Bible. In I Kings 10:2 there is a "train" of camels and in Isaiah 6 there is a "train" of God which filled the temple; both nouns, not verbs. If you look up the Hebrew word used by Solomon in Prov 22 you find it translated "dedicated" in every other instance. Let's consult a dictionary:

train (tr³n) n. 1. Abbr. tn. A series of connected railroad cars pulled or pushed by one or more locomotives. 2. A long line of moving people, animals, or vehicles. 3. The personnel, vehicles, and equipment following and providing supplies and services to a combat unit. 4. A part of a gown that trails behind the wearer. 5. A staff of people following in attendance; a retinue. 6.a. An orderly succession of related events or thoughts; a sequence. See Synonyms at series. b. A series of consequences wrought by an event; aftermath. 7. A set of linked mechanical parts: a train of gears. 8. A string of gunpowder that acts as a fuse for exploding a charge. --train v. trained, train·ing, trains. --tr. 1. To coach in or accustom to a mode of behavior or performance. 2. To make proficient with specialized instruction and practice. See Synonyms at teach. 3. To prepare physically, as with a regimen: train athletes for track-and-field competition. 4. To cause (a plant or one's hair) to take a desired course or shape, as by manipulating. 5. To focus on or aim at (a goal, mark, or target); direct. See Synonyms at aim. 6. To let drag behind; trail. --intr. 1. To give or undergo a course of training: trained daily for the marathon. 2. To travel by railroad train. [Middle English, trailing part of a gown, from Old French, from trainer, to drag, from Vulgar Latin *tragºn³re, from *tragere, to pull, back-formation from tr³ctus, past participle of Latin trahere.] --train"a·bil"i·ty n. --train"a·ble adj.

An applicable definition of the noun "train" is 6a "an orderly succession of related events or thoughts, a sequence" or 6b "a series of consequences wrought by an event, aftermath." Consider that even in the noun form one can discern that "training up" will be more complex than "telling" and insisting on obedience. Training here involves the same as the noun a sequence of related event tied together with consequence. The first time a parent uses the word training regularly it comes with the word "potty." In emphasizing the 'betimes' aspect of training consider that a developing child associates sequences of related events well before age two and their introduction to 'potty' training. The first training for a dog might be 'potty' training, not a human.

A child is told to take a nap and is placed in a bed with bars. But parents have trained them in the various ways around a nap. One parent trained her child to scream and cry and kick and struggle until mom takes them back out of the bed with bars. He has been very effectively trained that way. Another trained her child to be quiet till mom left the room, then to get up and play with toys quietly, loud noise brings mom back into the room. They learned that via training. The latter is less bothersome to a quiet ordered home but neither has been trained to take a nap. The former may scream until they fall asleep, the latter bore themselves to sleep. The parent will suppose the end justifies the means and they won the contest, but they did not engage in productive, effective training. This is but one example of failed training, or training for failure. When you understand this example you can recognize countless others, many of them more devastating but all of them training in which little Johnny was trained through a sequence of events and consequences to get his own selfish way rather than to submit to right. Remember telling and enforcing your will and defeating selfishness of little Johnny from last chapter, and recognize that training is now an extension of the complexity until the related events and consequences 'train' together, same task but with a much higher level of complexity.

One must consciously engage in this training task early with a little human. Understand the contest you are in as a parent and determine that you will succeed. I have helped parents deal with a very gifted child with these same instructions. When a child can quickly out think a parent, can out manipulate their intent, the challenge can reach exciting proportions, but continual conscious consistency will win out every time. Keeping the struggle conscious and learned with forethought can eliminate the vocabulary of 'strong willed child' from your child rearing experiences. It can also keep you from terms like PINS and probation officer when the child turns into a teen. Start early in training your child. If they are already adolescent or teen, early might mean early tomorrow morning! If you don't learn and change, they won't either.

3.2 Consistent Training

We have seen that forms of training start early in development. Now one should pursue the conscious formation of character with an applied, directed and consistent training effort. In America a 1st grade teacher must have 4 years of college and a teachers certificate. But to be the parent of a child all you need is hormones and some unsupervised time on your hands. We have a generation or two which do not have the character to train character. Gone is the work ethic ingrained into children from the farm. If consistent training is going to be used in rearing our children it will need to be studied and developed by a parent willing to invest as much as the 1st grade teacher did. A 'program' of consistent training can only be pursued consciously and purposefully by someone who knows what they are doing.

Training that has purpose will develop character. Training that is inconsistent and unfocused will undermine and destroy character. What are you doing as a parent? Building or undermining? Make it a conscious decision.

A parent will first need training in how to build character in a child. Pursue the training more diligently than a 3rd grade teacher would pursue a teaching certificate. This article should only whet your appetite and illuminate how little we really know about how to do the task at hand. To better illuminate this void examine three short observations here. First a short statement by Charles Reade helps us better understand the consistency necessary for character building:

" Sow a Thought >>> Reap an Act

Sow an Act >>> Reap a Habit

Sow a Habit >>> Reap a Character

Sow a Character >>> Reap a Destiny "

Secondly, 17 habits used in character building by Suzannah Wesley, mother of 19 children, will drive home some methodology in our consistency.

Thirdly Scripture given to Timothy by Paul will emphasize the diligence necessary in our consistency. Examine this excerpt from his charge given in 1 Timothy 1:7-16, with special note of the diligence, the effort, that must be applied to character building:

So a consistent training will have some goals and direction and purpose. What are your goals for each child? Choose one or two. I want my child to be an Olympic athlete . . . What training should I be doing? A master musician; a mathematician; a doctor; a butcher; a baker; a candle stick maker; a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Pick a couple goals based on your aptitude and theirs, and lets start aiming. Now lets pick a couple underlying character traits which will be foundational no matter what career direction your child goes. The Bible says of Jesus "and Jesus increased in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man." So too a child should develop 1) mentally, 2) physically, 3) spiritually and 4) socially. Can we categorize a 4 pronged character development that includes mental training, physical training, spiritual training, and social training? If you have not developed character in all these areas you will need to focus a more concerted effort in overcoming your shortfall in the area by exaggerating the training schedule in that area. Else the way you lean is the way your child will fall. Like a great tower held by four guy wires, if one is not anchored securely the tower will not stand long. Notice too that any career you prefer will require stability on all four of these guy wires. What are you doing to develop, to train your child in these foundational areas necessary for normal development of a responsible human? Start early, plot a course so you can be persistent, so you can be consistent in your training.

Our rebellious society wants to repeal all of God's laws and undo the curse. If the school master says thou shalt not, our nature and our society says I shalt. If the Lord says women and snakes are enemies of each other, there will be some woman owning 6 pythons and a boa constrictor. If the Word of God says woman is to be submissive to the leadership of man, there will be some American Baptist Association, that votes against it 6 to 1 and calls it Dark Ages philosophy not applicable to our highly evolved and enlightened society. If the Bible says man must work and eat by the sweat of his brow our selfish nature will say, "Get someone or something else to do our labor." The development of character will put you in opposition with a child's (and your) nature. A child left to himself will follow his nature and be in opposition to his Creator and his Creators decrees. Your task as a parent is to instill character through conscious training.

Lets examine two more challenges to do this training effectively. John Bunyon's booklet "Christian Behavior" @1674 states:5

John Bunyon then gives several points on "Purposes, Correction, and Cautions for parents raising children." Parents training as hard as a 1st grade teacher trains to be certified, will find these points listed in an appendix to this report.

Dr. Jeff Owens has a book which excellently and minutely defines character. We want to exercise here a consistent training effort which develops our four pronged character but his book "The one thing money can't buy - The one thing you can't afford to be without! Character." lists 15 characters for your son, and 15 characters for your daughter. Lets note them and pursue them.6

Print them, Frame them, hang them in their room and outline a training plan. (A serious parent will buy this book or at least carefully reference the Attributes of a Father, Husband, Wife & Mother found in the appendix of this article.

3.3 Continual Training

Married to the theme of consistency in training is this theme of continual training. The training must not only be 'betimes' or early, the training must not only be consistently pursued but the training must be continual. There is not a day nor time when this training is complete and you as a parent can move on to other interests of life. The training must go on through all of adolescence. The training must continue on a grander plane in teenagers. The training may go through a metamorphosis as the child launches into a career or home of their own but the training from a good parent must be consciously continual through all aspects of our children's life. The Bible says "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children:" (Prov13:22) This training is to be so continual that it can touch your children's children.

The parent needs to be regularly pursuing insights to training methods for their growing children. As the child grows and matures your four pronged training needs to mature and advance as well. The migration of these training methods through various age groups is illustrated extremely well by Dr. Adrian Rogers scheme to train the ten commandments to your children. Notice the varied methods he recommends for teaching the first commandant.

The varied training methods he outlines for each of the commandments is found in the appendix of this report, and his book "Ten Secrets for a Successful Family" is a highly recommended resource for learning to migrate your training methods throughout your child's development. Our training methods must be continual. You will not complete this training and be able to relax the effort while you are yet taking breath. This is not a phase that your child will pass through. This is a commitment to continue training throughout the complete development of your child through mature adulthood, and even then training goes on to your children's children. The training of a child must not only be 'betimes' it must be consistent. Not only must it be consistent it must be continual. Make a note, "I am committed to be early, consistent and continual in the training of my child."

4.0 Teaching = Imparting Knowledge and Creating Wisdom

The thesis I am presenting in this article culminates in this chapter about teaching. Simply stated, to be good stewards of the child God gave you, you must 'tell' a child, and force obedience, you 'train' a child, and develop this character of obedience while repressing selfish rebellion, and then you own a child who is so teachable he's almost a vacuum cleaner which sucks up knowledge. In contrast, a child who was never told and forced to obey, never trained into selfless obedience will be a selfish, unteachable, resistor of knowledge, a portrait of foolishness.

At this point one must inject that principles of child rearing are first just that, principles. If every child reacted identically to form there would be no proliferation of books on child rearing techniques. In the wording of the principle above most of us thought of two or three (or six) exceptions in both directions. But after teaching high school science and math for 4 years, watching grand children go through adolescence, and reading Proverbs through 12 times per year for those 4 years this principle comes into clear focus. A teachable, reachable high school student engaged in higher education is one who has had proper 'telling' with enforcement, and proper 'training', which was consistent with reinforcements. But this is a Biblical principle not one of my creation.

My experience as a parent, grandparent and teacher is not the basis for the principle mentioned here. As Bible believers we need to get away from the charismatic notions that our experience or our scientific studies hold the weight which validates the Bible principles as true. In this instance my experience in life has made me curious enough to study out the principles recorded in God's word. They are not validated by experience, but can be brought into clearer focus by experience.

I recently opened up an orchid flower and showed the pistol and stamen, the connecting veins and petals to two 4 year olds and two 2 1/2 year olds. They spent almost an hour on the study and could dissect and name all the flower parts on the orchid and two other large flowers found in their yard. This activity was not pursued because I am a biology teacher or a grandparent or because I wanted to prove a principle found in the Bible. It was pursued because I understand the principle stated above is God's principle, revealed in His word so that you can have sufficiency as a parent, or grandparent or even a great grandparent.

The culmination of this article is this examination of the Biblical principle that a told child, forced to obey against his will, can then be a trainable child, trained to be selflessly obedient, will then be a teachable child, who will absorb knowledge through instruction and use understanding to procure wisdom. The first two are a prerequisite for the latter. Stated in one verse the principle would be: "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."

4.1 Early Teaching

A child's mind comes into this world as a grand sponge that absorbs facts, relationships and experiences. We understand that the greatest minds known to man used less than a third of their biological potential. Absorption starts before the child emerges from the womb. Those who have experience with 3 year olds contend that it crescendos at that age when their most driving question is one word, "Why?" Several things can happen to that inquiring mind in the initial quest for absorption which will either foster or stifle learning. Starting a theme of good teaching early makes for a mind that can efficiently absorb throughout life.

How early should you start? One should start teaching prior to the first 'why?' question. Indeed a child should be taught to inquire. The instilling of truth into that absorbing mind should be a major emphasis of a parent from the time a child is an infant. A two year old can memorize and repeat verbatim hours worth of TV commercials, or hundreds of Bible scriptures, the choice is yours. The little sponge called a child's mind can equally absorb truth or fiction. And it does! A child will believe anything you tell them in those early years. Loving mothers giving birth or storks bringing babies, a baby in a manger or flying reindeer, a loving God who is ever-present or a fat red man who sees you when your sleeping, burial and resurrection or Peter rabbit, eternal blessings with eternal life or ghosts and goblins, truth or fiction, they will believe whatever you teach them.

Parents lying to their children for fun is disturbing but very common. Immature parents are thrilled with a child who will believe anything that they say. Insecure parents test this new power over an individual with small lies or with some of the grandest lies ever contrived by the human mind; (i.e. omnipresent omniscient fat man living at the north pole, benefactor to all and visiting annually with flying reindeer). The smallest lie contrived and communicated by this insecure untrained parent do irreparable harm to the absorption power of this fragile mind. Eventually that mind will wrestle with whether to believe a parent or no, and that contest should be fought with a knowledge that my mom and dad have never lied to me before. Do not fun with a child who will believe whatever he is told. Fill their mind with only truth, and ensure any lies that do get in are abruptly confessed and apologized for.

Never demean the power of your child's mind by saying he is too young to learn some particular truth. I have seen a 2 year old learn the entire alphabet in English and then in Greek. Their understanding of things develops over time but the power to lock away facts as bits of knowledge that will be interrelated later begins earlier than you can fill the void. Don't miss the opportunity to teach at this very early age, and don't fill the mind with fables that must be untangled from truth later on.

The beginning of teaching is the beginning of imparting knowledge whose fruit is to be wisdom. Proverbs tells us plainly "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Prov 1:7) Teaching is the imparting of knowledge into the brain of another. But it is not like you can just pour it in. It must be imparted in such a way that it takes root and blooms into worthwhile fruit. It needs to take root in good ground, that being the fear of the Lord. In an excellent book entitled "The Joy of Fearing God"7 Jerry Bridges illustrates knowledge that just rattles around in a brain and knowledge that takes root in the fear of the Lord excellently: His illustration is shared here:

In starting early to ingrain knowledge in your child, make sure it is truth, and make sure it has ground to grow in, ground called "Fear of God." That ground can only be cultivated if 'telling' and 'training' accomplished a fear of parent equal and parallel to ones 'fear of God.'

4.2 Consistent Teaching

Prov 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

In order to have consistent teaching for your child you cannot blindly surrender that responsibility to another. The teaching of your child throughout the first 5 years of their life is extremely important. You can be more attentive to your child's training and teaching than any daycare or Head Start program and you absolutely need to be. Now that you have made great strides to properly fill the absorbing sponge with truth do not let the child suffer the gross teaching inconsistency presented by a public school grade school teacher.

Although Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed that it takes a village to raise a child, please note that in truth, the modern village destroys any character you have developed in a God fearing child. The philosophy of education in Americas government educational system is diametrically opposed to a Biblical world view. The humanist world view is based on rationalism the Christian world view on revelationalism. Contrast these two world views:8

Revelationism Says . . . Rationalism Says . . .
There is a God

There is only man.
Man was created in God's image Man evolved into a thinking animal.

God is self-revealed in the Bible. The Bible is literature, composed of myth and ancient error.
A child is sinful and needs to have his heart changed by God. A child is only bad because of his negative environment..
God can work supernaturally in His world and in His people. All phenomena must have a natural explanation.
True values point to spiritual and eternal things. Values change in a shifting society it is all relative.
Christian teacher and student are both guided by the Holy Spirit. The best learning is reinforced conditioning in a controlled environment.
Morality and behavior have absolute guidelines in Scripture. There are no absolute "rights and wrongs" - society's standards are constantly changing.
From Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary #704 Christian Home Sylabus@99 pg 65

Even though these views are at extreme odds some Christians will still bury their head and choose the conveniences of public/government schools. In the 60's I may have understood such a decision. But the government school system of the United States has moved so far down the path we knew it was on, that a Christian parent is assured disaster by utilizing such an anti-Christian atheistic institution. In 1880 Dr. A.A. Hodge the famous theologian prophesied the danger of atheism in the public school. This prophecy is being fulfilled to the letter today:9

From the same lecture A.A. Hodge says:

If a Christian is going to provide consistency in teaching in this day and age, a parent must start teaching truth and values early in a child's life and stay attuned to their teaching all through high school, even carefully pointing them towards a college which will be consistent with your world view. If it takes tuition at a Christian School or even home schooling it is extremely valuable that child not get tugged one way by a teacher and another by the parent. Even if the parent wins at this tug of war the fabric of your child will be torn, and the rent will be irreparable. Ensure consistency in the teaching. Remember: Proverbs 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

4.3 Continual Teaching

Proverbs 15:11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

Finally we hit an area where continuation does not rest solely on the parent. There will come a time when you, as a parent have taught a child all that you can teach. This does not happen when one day you wake up and say, "OK, I'm finished." But there is a transition whereby you gradually surrender teaching authority to higher educators. This may be in a Jr. High School level, or above but the end is to come soon. Remember that life's training will continue until your funeral, but that actual imparting of knowledge will taper off as your child accelerates past your abilities to provide vast enough resources. Look at this verse that students like to quote to their teachers:

Any well taught student will accelerate past a teachers ability, so too past a parents ability. Three things should be kept in ones sights as this day approaches.

First, keep the above paragraph strongly in place and do all you can to keep teaching consistent with a Christian world view. This can be done in Christian schools and Christian Colleges. Be careful here. Make sure your child is armed with knowledge of what a proper Christian world view is and how it contrasts with the humanist world view and even with the modernists Christian world view. You will not likely be able to keep foreign viewed teachers from presenting knowledge to your matured child. But you can ensure that he is built with the proper foundation which will keep the foreign view foreign. Who is that proper foundation? The cornerstone that the builders rejected, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Secondly, you can ensure a continuing education for your child by building in them the proper hunger for higher learning. College students are often people with all the answers. The purpose of higher education is more to make people realize how much they do not know than it is to impart more knowledge into their grey matter. College begins the connecting of the dots, the interrelationship of knowledge dots that we call understanding. If your child hates school and has no quest or hunger for higher learning you have not instilled in them what Solomon recorded in all of Proverbs. Revisit Proverbs 4:7 "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."

Thirdly, college is only one resource for the pursuit of learning. It is a good one, but it is one. If you cannot put together the resources to send a child to college, Don't. Many, like myself, worked their way through college. A college education that is handed out on a silver platter is not nearly as valuable as the one which is pursued wholeheartedly by the student. College is not the only means for a disciplined and teachable student to attain higher learning. In my 25 year USAF career I cannot recall a year that went by in which I was not enrolled in some form of training or educational program. The drive to understand more, to absorb greater knowledge, to surpass my instructors, did not come from my first taste of college. It came from a home where learning and pursuit of wisdom was exemplified as the principle thing. Such wisdom does not come from a college book, it comes from a living book. It does not come from a college professor, it comes from man of sorrow aquainted with grief.

5.0 Is it too Late to Start Now? No! Start right now!

Pr 13:22 ¶ A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

Many a parent has gone well down the path of error in child rearing and wished they could start over. Many a parent has known these principles but been out maneuvered in child rearing by their spouse. They both now wish they could start over. There was a time, as a youth pastor, when all I could bring myself to advise was to "Hang on, you are going to have a horrible life for the next 5-10 years." But if a parent wishes they could start over, the marvelous thing about this thesis of telling, training and teaching is that since these tasks are continual, it is never to late to start.

The hinge or turning back and starting over, swings on the parents gumption. If one wishes to start over but they have not made radical changes in their role (a very radical parental role change is required here) then you will do no good to start afresh. Remember the drill sergeant who can get rebellious, sloppy, lazy Tommy to fold his underwear into 4 by 4 inch squares that stack in a foot locker while he stands solidly at attention for the 48 minute inspection? That was a very radical parental role change that did not go away in a week or two. Only a parent that can fully realize their error and make that kind of role change can fix a broken child. For those who will not I'll have to go back to my old advice, "hang on, you have failed, and a plate full of consequences is headed your way." Review Proverbs 17:21 "He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy."

If however, it is ones desire to change how they have been rearing their child and do it God's way completely, they can see tremendous success. Do it with God's help. Start immediately and abruptly. Both parents will need to be wholehearted participants in the change. Confess your error to the children, let them know that things are changing today. Start with all the fervor that would be present if the child found themselves in boot camp. Remember: Pr 14:26 ¶ In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

5.1 It is Not too Late for Adolescence

Pr 5:7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

An eight year old broke his mothers nose and sent her to the hospital because she told him to take out the garbage. The parent lamented to me at work that they wished they had used spankings instead of modern methods. "Should I start spanking him now, would it do any good?" The police were involved, as well as social services. I could not answer. The question haunts me to this day. An adolescent that has not had proper upbringing can be troublesome or even be a horrible legal liability. My advice now would be a resounding "start over, do it right." Just to start spanking will not solve any problem. An incompetent parent must go through a radical change in their approach. Adding some measure, like spanking, will not rebirth a responsible parent. When the approach has been wrong, an attitude of "Well I'll try this technique and see if it might work" will not be adequate. God's method is not a smorgasbord of means which you can sample. If the methods of telling, training and teaching work on an 18 year old in a boot camp, you can be certain that they will do remarkably well on an adolescent. Two major questions remain, First is the parent willing to make a radical change in their approach? Not to just try it for a while then say it didn't work. Any adolescent can stick out a fickle maneuver of method. Realize this method is absolutely right and Biblical and adopt it wholly. Secondly, is the parents discipline, the parents will power, the parents fortitude greater than the child's? Resolve will be tested to the end. A strong willed child is any child who has a will stronger than a parents resolve. Gather your resolve. Start with all the fervor that would be present if the child found themselves in boot camp. Remember: Proverbs 7:24 ¶ Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

5.2 It is Not too Late for Teenagers

Proverbs 30:11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

In my limited experience I have never seen the parent that would change radically enough to curb a spoiled teen from their rebellion. I have read a couple of testimonials, one involved the real rebirth of both parents who were gloriously saved, their teens were later saved and off to Bible college. It is possible. Things are stacked against the parent of the rebellious teen. A teen is a young man or woman already formed in value and character. They are in a process of testing their values and character but not adaptable to great change. There is only one who can change a person, if God is employed in this confrontation there can be tremendous success. If such a parent will recognize their error in method, swallow it, confess it, accept responsibility for it and purpose to change radically, they can start on a Biblical path of child rearing with their teenager. . Even a rebellious teen can be confronted by a drill sergeant with such immovable confrontation that their path must change. Be warned that there are several directions that this change could take. Understand your resolve to endure any of these directions, then do right. Start with all the fervor that would be present if the child found themselves in boot camp. Remember: Proverbs 4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

5.3 It is Not too Late for Your Grandchildren's Sake.

Prov 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

You may be an influence on the upbringing of your grandchildren by learning these Biblical principles of child rearing and telling, training and teaching your child the principles. You cannot normally barge in and completely use these principles on your grandchildren. You can still have a tremendous effect on your child. They are struggling with how to do what they do as parents. You can be a trained advisor and help if you are not overbearing and maintain a right relationship with your child who has left mother and father and is cleaving to a spouse, for better or worse. If you did not live the example of a parent before them, confess that to them and specifically point out your error. When you can practice telling, training, and teaching on your grandchildren take every opportunity to do it skillfully. Do not do this behind their parents back and do not in contradiction to the parents wishes. But while skillfully training your grandchildren you can be retraining the parent you did not train properly previously. Often your child does not need retrained as a parent, just a little insightful reinforcement will be adequate, always being careful not to undermine their responsibility as parent. Remember: Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers."

6.0 Conclusion = You Can Do It and It is Worth It

The Word of God leaves Christians in this world with some very solemn responsibilities of stewardship. None is greater than being the stewards of a next generation and rearing our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The Biblical principles of child rearing are greater than "spare the rod and spoil the child". They engulf the principles of 'telling' a child and forcing their obedience, 'training' a child to respond to others, to authorities and to boundaries in their life, thus curbing their selfishness and instilling selflessness. And then, when these two mainframes are in place, 'teaching' a child truth. An important contention of this thesis is that proper 'telling' and 'training' will create a clean, complete, and ready vessel for the 'teaching' phase. The three of these concepts are inseparable. They interplay throughout your child's development. But understanding each and conscientiously and cunningly applying each, in proper manner and proportion, will produce a responsible, selfless vessel suitable for use by God the Father for his kingdom and for his name's sake. Doing so is not a task that is to be taken lightly nor without proper parental training. Parental training needs to be sought and pursued with more vigor than one would pursue a teaching degree. In the presenting of this concept of 'telling', 'training' and 'teaching' we have just whet the appetite for the research necessary to "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."


Appendix 1

The Duty of Parents to Children

from "Christian Behavior" @1674 by John Bunyan

If thou act a parent, a father or a mother, thus thou art to consider thy calling under this relation.

Thy children have souls, and they must be begotten of God as well as of thee, or they perish. And know also, that unless thou be circumspect in thy behavior to and before them, they may perish through thee: the thoughts of which should provoke thee, both to instruct, and also to correct them.

First, to instruct them as the scripture saith, and to 'bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord'; and to do this diligently, 'when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up' (Ephesians 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:7)


1. Do it in terms and words easy to be understood: affect not high expressions, they will drown your children. Thus God spake to his children (Hosea 12:10), and Paul to his (I Corinthians 3:2).

2. Take heed of filling their heads with whimsies, and unprofitable notions, for this will sooner learn them to be malapert and proud, than sober and humble. Open therefore to them the state of man by nature; discourse with them of sin, of death, and hell; of the promise of life through faith: 'Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it' (Proverbs 22:6)

3. There must be much gentleness and patience in all thy instructions, 'lest they be discouraged' (Colossians 3:21)

4. Labor to convince them by a conversation answerable, that the things of which thou instructest them are not fables, but realities; yea, and realities so far above what can be here enjoyed, that all things were they a thousand times better than are, are not worthy to be compared with the glory and worthiness of these things. Isaac was so holy before his children, that when Jacob remembered God, he remembered that he was ' the fear of his father Isaac' (Gen 31:53). Ah! when children can think of their parents, and bless God for that instruction and good they have received from them, this is not only profitable for children, but honorable and comfortable to parents: 'The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him' (Proverbs 23:24)


1. See if fair words will win them from evil. This is God's way with his children (Jeremiah 25:4,5).

2. Let those words you speak to them in your reproof, be both sober, few, and pertinent, adding always some suitable sentence of the scripture therewith; as , if they lie, then such as (Revelation 21:8, 27). If they refuse to hear the word, such as (II Chronicles 25:14-16).

3. Look to them, that they be not companions with those that are rude and ungodly; showing with soberness a continual dislike of their naughtiness; often crying out to them, as God did of old unto his, 'Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate' (Jeremiah 44:4)

4. Let all this be mixed with such love, pity and compunction of spirit, that if possible they may be convinced you dislike not their persons, but their sins. This is God's way (Psalm 99:8).

5. Be often endeavoring to fasten on their consciences the day of their death, and judgment to come. Thus also God deals with his (Deuteronomy 32:29).

6. If thou art driven to the rod, then strike advisedly in cool blood, and soberly show them, (1) their fault; (2) how much it is against thy heart thus to deal with them; (3) and that what thou dost, thou dost in conscience to God, and love to their souls; (4) and tell them, that if fair means would have done, none of this severity should have been. This, I have proved it, will be a means to afflict their hearts as well as their bodies; and it being the way that God deals with his, it is the most likely to accomplish its end.

7. Follow all this with prayer to God for them, and leave the issue to him: 'Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him' (Proverbs 22:15)


1. Take heed that the misdeeds of which thou correctest thy children be not learned them by thee. Many children learn the wickedness of their parents for which they beat and chastise them.

2. Take heed thou smile not upon them to encourage them in small faults, lest that thy carriage to them be an encouragement to them to commit greater.

3. Take heed thou use not unsavory and unseemly words in thy chastising of them, as railing, miscalling, and the like: this is devilish.

4. Take heed thou do not use them to many chiding words and threatenings, mixed with lightness and laughter; this will harden. Speak not much, nor often but pertinent to them with all gravity.

Appendix 2

The One Thing Money Can't Buy, The One Thing You Can't Afford To Be Without


by Dr. Jeff Owens [6] Excerpts from Chapter 3 pg 17-

The attributes of a FATHER who possess character:

  1. A father with character will be concerned that his children possess character.
  2. A father with character will be concerned that his children know they have a father who gives both quality and quantity time.
  3. A father with character will provide for the monetary needs of his children.
  4. A father with character will be an example of character for his children.
  5. A father with character will clean up his plate as a good example.
  6. A father with character will teach his children to be on time by example.
  7. A father with character will teach his children to work hard by example.
  8. A father with character will express love to his wife so his children may know how a father should behave toward his spouse.
  9. A father with character will express his love, gratitude, and concern for his parents so his children will love their grandparents.
  10. A father with character disciplines his children for their good, not for his own gratification.
Note: After reading this material, a father with character will spend more time developing his own character than he will pointing out the character flaws in others. The attributes of a MOTHER who possesses character
  1. A mother with character will help develop character in her children.
  2. A mother with character will teach her daughter how to can vegetables, whether or not it is cheaper, easier, or more convenient.
  3. A mother with character will teach her daughter to sew.
  4. A mother with character will be an example to her daughter of how to be a good wife.
  5. A mother with character will understand that a microwave is a convenience, not a necessity, and that the daughter and children should be taught the same.
  6. A mother with character makes homemade cookies.
  7. A mother with character does not throw away the socks because they have holes, but darns and repairs the socks.
  8. A mother with character irons even the permanent-press clothing.
  9. A mother with character makes home a pleasant place by being a pleasant person.
  10. A mother with character takes the time to kiss her child's "boo-boo."

Appendix 3

Christian Home and Child Rearing

Excerpts from Adrian Rogers' book Ten Secrets for a Successful Family. Adrian Rogers is senior pastor of the 25,000 member Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and is the only man to have three times been elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention - the world's largest Protestant denomination. Rogers has previously authored The Power of His Presence, God's Way to Health, Wealth and Wisdom, and Mastering Your Emotions. He and his wife, Joyce, have four grown children and six grandchildren. These excerpts may border on copyright infringement. I highly recommend you buy the book, but as your Pastor I consider it extremely important that your have some of these resources during this series on the home.

In chapter 1 "It takes God to Make A Home" Dr. Rogers quotes Plato "The life of the nation is the life of the family written large"

and makes the startling revelation about losing a generation:

How to Teach Them






Adrian Rogers then outlines very effectively a defense against the erosion of God's truth. Listed here as a checklist for your use are his very helpful means of applying these 10 commandment truths to the lives of your Children.

1st Commandment One God Per Family

"There is no other way because there is no other God. There is one God, there is no God but God, and there is no rest for any who rely on any god but God. ---Os Guinnes and John Seel


0-6 years Sing & talk about God with your children

familiarize yourself with videos and tapes for young Children

Read Bible Stories to them.

Help them thank God for food, friends, sunshine,- everything

7-12 years Frame a copy of the Ten Commandments, and hang it in your children's room.

Have your children memorize the Commandments, and reward them when they are successful.

Practice daily family worship

Get your children their first Bible.

Take them to a Christian bookstore, and let them select a tape or video they want.

13+ years Get them a book that gives them reasons to believe - proofs of the truth of Christianity.

Upgrade their personal Bible to a study Bible written especially for teens. A King James Version for its careful accuracy

Help your children begin taking responsibility for their own spiritual lives. Encourage them to have a daily quiet time.

2nd Commandment Learning Family Worship

Worship is giving to God the best He has given us. - Oswald Chambers

0-6 years Talk about the idea of an invisible God, helping your children to understand the difference between imaginary and invisible.

Let your kids hear you express praise and adoration to the Lord.

Explain how the pictures in their Bible story books got there- for example explain that pictures of Jesus are just the artists' ideas of what Jesus may have looked like, and that he did not really have long unkempt hair!

7-12 years Help your children put this Commandment into their own words.

Help them pick out worthy heroes (missionary biographies are a great source for this.)

Find pictures of religious idols, ancient or current , to use as a discussion starter.

Warn your children about the occult.

13+ years Introduce your children to good Christian art if you haven't already done so.

Offer to listen to their music with them, and evaluate it together.

Watch for events in the news to discuss with your kids, especially stories that reveal people "worshipping" wealth, power, fame, or some other modern idol.

3rd Commandment The Name Above All Names

Jesus is the sweetest name I know

0-6 years Make sure your little ones have plenty of good music that praises and exalts the name of Jesus.

Make an early vow that you and your mate will be careful how you use the name of God in your everyday conversation.

Help your children make little banners with the names and titles of Jesus on them and decorate them with crowns or whatever symbol is appropriate to that name.

Teach your children to pray in Jesus' name, and tell them what that means.

Consider starting a "book of remembrance" on each child that highlights important moments in their spiritual lives such as their salvation and baptism.

7-12 years Teach your children the names of God, beginning with the names in this chapter. Your Christian Book store has books containing all the biblical names of God.

Help your children apply the names of God to their personal needs: fear of harm, guilt for wrong behavior, etc.

Continue with age-appropriate music that lifts up the name of Jesus.

13+ years Be careful not to joke about God with your children.

Remind your children why you chose their names, what their names mean, and the value you place on their names and on them. Tie your discussion to the value God places on His name.

Regularly encourage your teenagers to wear the name of Jesus well as they go to school or other activities.

4th Commandment How to Make the Rest Day The Best Day

God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. The man who would know God must give time to Him. - A.W. Tozer

0-6 years Get things started right by taking your children to church.

Do everything you can to make Sunday a happy day - have music playing when the kids wake up, sing on your way to church, etc.

Explain why Dad and Mom take a day of rest.

Start a special "Sunday Time" for your kids on Sunday afternoon during which you all listen to the music they choose or read to them any book they choose.

7-12 years Develop family traditions that make Sunday special- perhaps a special breakfast or a family treat after church.

Teach your children how to be reverent without being rigid. Help them to see that worship is a heart issue, not an external one.

Share with them the reasons Christians worship on the Lord's day and hold this day in special honor.

Continue to help them develop the practice of regular giving on Sunday.

13+ years On Saturday night, check with your teens to make sure the shirt or dress they plan to wear Sunday morning is ready and so avoid panic or frantic digging in the clothes hamper the next morning.

Speak well of the church in front of your children.

Be available to help your children make decisions that honor God's day of rest and worship.

Check regularly to see that your work and worship are balanced and providing a good example.

5th Commandment Honor Thy Father and Mother

Has the nuclear family bombed?

Nearly all that I know about God I learned first from my father.- R. I. Lindquist

0-6 years Very early on , establish a rule of absolute respect for Mother.

Show your children that Dad and Mom are called to be obedient to their Heavenly Father.

Honor your mate in your children's presence every chance you get.

Help your children honor your mate on his or her special day by drawing a picture or making a card that expresses the child's love.

7-12 years Explain to your children the ways you are honoring your parents (love, respect, prayer, seeking their counsel, perhaps even physical care.)

Deal swiftly with disrespect and sass.

Determine to avoid using even humorous or gentle put-downs of your mate.

13+ years Encourage your children's friends to honor their parents.

Be ready to admit it when you blow it, then go on from there.

Remind your children of the promise attached to this Commandment.

Remind them that they will want their children to honor them someday.

6th Commandment Families that Choose Life

No previous age has equaled our horror of killing;

but then, no previous age ever killed so much! - R. Kent Hughes

0-6 years Pray for your children's safety (Psalms 127:1)

Make an early commitment that you will not allow your children to absorb hours of violence on TV (or the computer)

Tell your children how special they are, how valuable and unique their lives are.

Help your kids learn to value life.

7-12 years Make it a family rule that no one goes to bed angry (Eph 4:26)

Teach your children the link between anger and violence - you should have no problem finding examples!

Warn your kids against resorting to their own revenge for wrongs done (Romans 12:19-21)

Continue to keep a close check on your children's viewing and play habits, especially video games.

13+ years Help your teens understand what's involved in issues such as abortion and euthanasia.

Help them find outlets for expressing their Christian views on these issues - perhaps taking part in a pro-life rally, writing letters, etc.

Explain the difference between the Sixth Commandment and the issue of capital punishment.

Encourage in your teens the development of a strong sense of right and wrong.

7th Commandment The Key to Magnificent Marriage

Marital love plus absolute commitment and trust builds a sweet intimacy that is sublime. R. Kent Hughes

0-6 years Begin praying now for godly mates for your children.

Start teaching your children the sanctity and value of their bodies as created by and belonging to God.

Be careful to be modest in dress and behavior before your children, without being afraid to show affection to your mate.

7-12 years Recount the story of how you and your marriage partner met and fell in love. Make it a family legend.

Make it a point to talk about the value of waiting - the joy of marital fulfillment.

13+ years Pray that your teens will be emotionally and spiritually prepared to handle relationships with the opposite sex.

Never treat sex as a dirty or embarrassing subject.

Promise that you will answer honestly any questions your children have about sex.

Challenge your teens to take a vow of purity until marriage. Give them a ring or some other token of their vow.

8th Commandment Honesty: Don't leave home without it.

A person doesn't have to be dishonest simply because it is the accepted way. Being right is worth far more than being accepted. - Donald Wildman

0-6 years Model a spirit of contentment before your children. They will pick up your attitude very quickly.

Begin now dealing with your little one's "I want this" syndrome. Explain that we can't have everything we want, and be prepared to reinforce this lesson often!

Teach your child to be grateful. Stop and thank God for a good meal, sunshine, or any number of daily blessings.

7-12 years Take the opportunity to point out things like store signs that warn against shoplifting, and use them as a discussion starter on the importance of honesty.

Give your children "What would you do?" role playing situations that call for a decision on honesty.

Don't get caught in the game of buying your kids things to keep them quiet or to relieve your guilt for not spending more time with them or failing to keep a promise.

13+ years Let your older children make their own decisions as appropriate.

Don't bail them out if they overspend and run short for something they want to buy or do.

Show them how the real world works by showing them the difference between "gross" and "net" pay.

Measure your own "honesty quotient" regularly.

9th Commandment Truth or Consequences

Lying has become a cultural trait in America. Lying is embedded in our national character. - R. Kent Hughes

0-6 years Establish firm penalties for lying, and don't let a lie pass without dealing with it.

Reward truth-telling with sincere appreciation.

Gather stories, music, and videos that underscore the importance of telling the truth.

Try to avoid using exaggeration with your little ones, and help them not to exaggerate.

7-12 years Look for situations in the news and in your own world that can serve as the basis for a dinnertime discussion about lying.

Ask your kids for examples from school of those who either told the truth or lied. Ask them what happened as a result.

Don't make promises you can't keep.

13+ years Promise yourself that you and your mate will not cover for your children if they are caught lying.

Award truthfulness above just about anything else your teens do right.

Help them deal with the reality that the world does not always reward the truth.

10th Commandment The Secret of Satisfaction

To whom little is not enough, nothing is enough.

0-6 years Encourage your children to thank Jesus when a sibling or a friend gets something new or something good happens to someone else.

Avoid complaining about your possessions. Your kids will get the idea that God isn't taking very good care of you.

If contentment is a problem for you , begin now asking God to do a new work in your heart.

7-12 years Teach gratitude by insisting that your children write thank-you notes to whoever has done something for them or has given them something.

Require your children to give to God and to others from whatever money they receive.

Consider sponsoring a needy child as a family, and let the kids have part in earning the money needed.

13+ years Explain your giving plan to your children; show them how you give.

Gradually turn responsibility for your kids' giving over to them; become their encourager rather than their financial manager.

Help your teens make good choices about possessions. Show them that they can't have everything they want.

God Bless You in your quest for a Godly home and Godly Children

Pastor Rice

1 Rice, Dr. Bill, "Love em Lick em and Learn em"

2 Rice, John R., "The Home"

3 "The American Heritage Dictionary", 3rd Edition, Version 3.6a, Copyright 1994 SoftKey International Inc.

4 Hyles, Dr. Jack, "How to Rear Infants" pg 122 -

5 Bunyon, John, "Christian Behavior" @1674

6 Owens, Jeff, Dr., "Character", Owens Publications @1995

7 Bridges, Jerry, "The Joy of Fearing God"

8 Thorton, Larry R., #704 Christian Home Syllabus, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary

9 Hodge, A.A., "Popular Lectures on Theological Themes" @1880