MISC – 29 Jan. 2013

Teach Your Children

As parents Joan and I love our children the deepest, we know them the best, and while they were growing we were with them the most. At their young age, we were best suited to be their teacher in things other than what they were taught in school; particularly their religious studies.  We taught them, prayed for and with them, read Scripture to them, and loved them with all our heart, mind and soul.

The Scriptures reminded us:

Deuteronomy 4:9; 9Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;”

They also instructed our children to:

Proverbs 1:8;8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”

Also, the Scriptures included this reminder:

Ephesians 6:1-4; 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Both mothers and fathers are exhorted to make it their responsibility to pastor their children. This does not mean that such things as church activities or Christian school education are forbidden, but rather that they are supplements to the loving biblical instruction of Christian parents.

Because parents are with their children at the most opportune times, they are wise to integrate their biblical instruction as God providentially provides teachable moments. It is wise for families to have regular and planned times for such things as Bible reading, prayer and worshipful singing. Nevertheless, there are moments throughout the course of a child’s day when his or her heart is open for strategic instruction. A Spirit-led, prayerful parent will capture sacred moments to instruct and/or correct their child as needed.

Perhaps the clearest command for integrated parenting is the following:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9;4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”

While it is likely that every Christian parent would agree with these principles of pastoral parenting, most would likely also admit they struggle to know how to make this happen practically.  We relied on our Church, the Scriptures, our prayers, and our great love for our sons.  Out of this, the pathway just naturally formed.  I think we had a lot of help….and a lot of success.

About Ephraim J. Stockwell

Ephraim J. Stockwell, Born 30 May 1926 in Howell, Michigan, USA; Grew up on a farm in Uniontown, Pennsylvania; Served in Army during WW2 in European Theater of Operations; College in West Virginia, majoring in Physics and Electronic Engineering; Employed by NASA Headquarters, Wash. D.C. as Head of Network Operations (Retired), Husband of Joan Morgan Stockwell, father of 3 sons; Jack, Mark and Rick; Family includes 17 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren.
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