By C. Marie, author of The Holy Spirit and Christian Testimonies
I assume that it is desirable for all Christian parents to raise children who are identified by God to be His Children overall, ones who belonging to Him and not of the devil.
While in the Christian parents care and upbringing, I believe that it is for the parents to train their children to have self-control everywhere at all times, whether or not the parents are nearby. It is for the children to know that God is everywhere and sees everything they do, because He also knows everybody’s thoughts, motives, and actions.
Jeremiah 23:23-24, “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.”
Parents are not only to lay out their rules and expectations for their children, but feed them The Word of God, while raising them to faithfully abide by the holy Scripture. Children should not obey their parents and the guidance that they receive from the Scripture out of fear alone, but out of the deep desire to want to be righteous and God-fearing. They should also obey out of the desire to on God’s good side, to receive positive judgments by Him.
2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
When young, the rules received by faithful Christian parents are as simple and basic as they come by. If told to leave the cookie jar alone, when alone in the room with the jar, they must have the desire to leave it alone, from the thought that although the parents are not nearby, God will be aware of disobedience, hard-headedness, and sneakiness. Their minds should be on God first, parents second, and the jar last.
Children should be raised to be immovable in the Christian faith. From the time they are born, they need to learn self-discipline, have respect for their parents in the Lord, and place high value on The Holy Bible. Throughout their lives, they will always be presented with choices to choose from. After they leave their parents nest, their parents will definitely not be around them all the time. They will always have all kinds of different types of choices to make, good, bad, and neutral ones. It would be beneficial for them in the Christian faith to have had an upringing where they always acknowledge God first, God-fearing parents’ old conversations, and the particular choices last as well.
From what I believe, the children of Isreal had issues with obeying rules. When they were slaves, they basically followed Egyptian rules because they were supposed to. After they were freed, God shown Himself in ways that they knew He was around them, and they also received new sets of rules, to be identified as His Children. They were free to choose whether or not they would obey His rules, and they were to obey His rules because they wanted to, not because they were forced to. The disobedient ones got on the bad side of His judgments. Many centuries later, when Jesus walked on the earth and we were passing from The Age of the Law to The Age of Grace, I interpret that He expressed how that day’s modern people were obeying the Law by living as if those were ways of life for others to notice, but had internal detachments to God in ways that even the most religious were not God-fearing. They blindly followed rules without internalizing what God wanted to show them.
So as early as possible, teach young ones to be God’s children first and mommy’s babies second. It is for them to listen and follow their Christian parents’ guidance out of the desire to want to be upright in the eyes of God, and not out of fear of “time-out” only They should be brought up to know that they do have free choices to choose from in life. If they want God’s good judgments and Eternal Life, they need to always make the type of choices that He will approve of. The time will come when they will be too grown for their parents “time-out” once they leave the nest. Then, they really will be able to act out any type of choice that gets thrown at them. But if they were not grounded in the Christian faith enough, then they may easily push the thoughts of God away and live in their own ways instead of His Word. Because of that, from as early as possible, it is not enough to have children obey their parents’ rules out of fear of “time-out” punishments, but because of the desire to want to be righteous to God, with acknowledgments that His Spirit is everywhere.