training children

a danger in a church home is that of raising hypocritical children. Kids more concerned with exterior compliance than having a heart for God. Here is some advice for raising kids to experience true worship.

Instead of just dealing with external behavior issues, we should seize every opportunity to help children understand that it is their hearts that generate their actions (Mt. 15:19). In His judgment of man, God looks at the heart (1 Sam.16:7). We should never equate occasions of good behavior (professions of love for Jesus, acts of compliance, et cetera) with saving faith in Jesus. We need to go beyond fixing wrong behavior to helping the child understand that his evil heart can only be changed by the Lord in regeneration.

Emphasize the affections of NT religion. Make sure that we are not just aiming at a young person’s understanding, but that we reach for the heart and its affections.

Do not encourage children to exhibit their talents and gifts to impress others. They should be reminded that all that they are and have are gifts of grace from God (1 Cor. 4:7), and they should not regard themselves more highly than they ought (Rom. 12:3).

Teach the truth about integrity — which comes from the word for “integer” or “whole.” For a child with integrity, whichever way you turn them, they look they same. Who they are at church, is who they are in school, is who they are at home. This is what our kids should be.

Do not be afraid to share our spiritual and moral failures with children in instances where they can identify with our shortcomings. This allows us to be authentic with them. It also allows us to demonstrate our response to God when we have done wrong, and our reliance on Him to continue molding our hearts.

Be authentic in your love for Christ. Genuine desire for Christ is not easily faked. Let your zeal be a barometer by which they measure their own affection for Christ.

agree or disagree with these? what else could be added to the list?

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