Raising Moral Children

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"I wished with all my heart that I might be a little child again, that my father might learn me to speak without this wicked way of swearing..." [John Bunyan]

John Bunyan longed that his father had disciplined his language and taught him not to use profanities, knowing that such lessons of morality have greater and lasting effects when learnt in younger years.
We read in Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."

How true this is, I know in my own life that I've been blessed in this very area having received sharp discipline for using such language when I was around 5 years old, that had lasting effects that I'm thankful for to this day. I've never, since then, had the desire to curse. Not even at the worst of times do I find such language upon the tip of my tongue.

But having said all this I wish to refer to a quote that I read recently from Abraham Piper who said;

"Understanding teenage rebellion only as sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll implies that the goal is celibacy, sobriety, and employment.
It’s not.

It’s Jesus

To train our children in morality is indeed good, necessary and praise-worthy, to discipline for wrong, sin and wickedness is to be done, but the ultimate aim is not just moral living, the ultimate aim is that our children grow up knowing and loving and following Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
The training of a child begins firmly in the cross, only in Jesus does moral living take on a deeper meaning than being an upstanding citizen in society. Only in Him can our works of goodness and choices to avoid wrong or sinful behaviour become more than filthy rags.

Training our children in moral living will undoubteably be a bonus for those around them and it is great to have children who don't steal, commit sexual immorality & curse, etc. But before a Holy God these hold no sway, and even the most moral, upright person will face God's wrath over sin, in eternal Hell unless they come first to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and peace with God.

Training our children must not simply be about keeping the ten commandments, but must be salted with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Some verses for thought

On good works prior to being a Christian

- Galatians 2:16 "knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified."

- Ephesians 2:8&9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

On good works after becoming a Christian

- Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

- Philippians 2:13 "...for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

- Titus 2:14 "...who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."