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JAMES MCCARLEY
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Children thrive best in a Godly, loving household

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Proverbs 22:6 says Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Experiences from my forty years of ministry, and from my own personal experiences, profess the truth of this proverb: a child brought up in a home led by a loving Christian father and mother, wherein the child is regularly in church worship and Bible studies, will much more often grow to be a well-adjusted, God-loving, law-abiding citizen, than a person brought up in differing conditions.

This is not just child psychology; it is based on personal experiences in my own family and in my ministry experiences. Also, recent research studies confirm this to be true.

An old proverb says “it takes a community to raise a child.” This is especially true if that community includes a loving father and mother.

My twelve years’ ministry in an inner city environment, showed me the truth of that.

No matter how much a mother loves her children, if the father is not also there raising the children, they do not do as well as they grow up; they are usually beset with all sorts of troubles.

Paul gives good advice in Ephesians 5:25 when he says “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church.”

We know how Christ loved the church: he gave his very life that the church might live. Jesus Christ died on the cross, taking all our sins on himself, dying that we might be forgiven for our sins. We have been forgiven and reconciled with God because of the wonderful sacrifice Jesus did for us, and now Paul is telling us men that we are to love our wives the same way.

No, he is not telling us we have to die for them, but he is telling us to love our wives in a sacrificial way.

That may mean giving up some beloved pastime that conflicts with the needs of our wife. It may mean being present with her during a stressful time when we would much rather be somewhere else. Sometimes it means participating in some activity we don’t really like if that means keeping peace in the household.

And loving our wife as Christ loved the church can be the best environment in which to bring up our children. When children observe a loving relationship between their father and mother, they most usually respond in like manner.

So the recipe for raising good children is as follows: (1) love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. (2) Men, love your wife as Christ loves the church. (3) Love your children and take them to church and Sunday school on a regular basis. And may the Lord love you and give you a long and peaceful life.