Building up believers and the New Testament church

Training Children

Example, the Foundation of All Training

The foundation of all training is the example of the teacher. This is true in every area of our lives. Although the Lord Jesus was much more than an example, it was the life He lived which opened the door for men to hear His words. "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me?" He asked (John 14:9). We are commanded to examine the fruit (the life coming forth) of a teacher, to know whether they are of God or not. When his ministry was being questioned, the apostle Paul appealed to believers to examine his life (II Corinthians 11). Paul was able to say with a clear conscience, "Brethren, join in following my example" (Philippians 3:17). We must also be able to say to our children, "Follow me, as I follow Christ." Our lives set the standard and define the words we use. In trying to escape this responsibility, we may point our children to other teachers that affect their lives. While other teachers may be able to help in certain areas, no other teacher can take the responsibility God has given to parents.

This puts tremendous responsibility upon us as parents to know the training and discipline of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Although the subject of our training by God is outside the scope of this pamphlet, the two subjects are interwoven to a great measure. God holds us responsible for the example we set before our children. We must earn the right to be heard, by the life that we live in God. If we are slothful in obedience to the Lord, time is against us, because every day that passes speaks to our children that "it is not important to obey the Lord." We may say every day, "It is important to obey the Lord," but our actions always speak louder than our words. The importance of example in every area of life cannot be overemphasized.

If we do not want our children to be just like us, then we need to repent, obey the Lord, and see the areas of weakness in our life changed. Then we will be on a solid footing to command our children and see them trained properly.