Tag: Parenting

Children are God’s Heritage (Psalm 127:3-5)

1 Living Asset

Children (Living Assets) – Psalm 127:3 (KJV) “Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward.

To the ancient Jews, the building of the house and the protection of the city were for the families. Family was the basic unit and most important elements of Jewish society, as they were under constant threat from the enemies

1.1 Children are the Blessing

Children are the blessing for the Jews, writes Rabbi Leo Trepp. “Each child brings a blessing all his own, our Ancestors would say. We rejoice in children because we are a people, a historical people” (“The Complete Book of Jewish Observance,” pg.217).

  • An old German Proverb says: “Many children make many prayers, and many prayers bring much blessing.
  • John Howard Hinton’s daughter said to him as she knelt by his deathbed: “There is no greater blessing than for children to have godly parents.” “And the next,” said the dying father, with a beam of gratitude, “for parents to have godly children.” (“Memoir in Baptist Handbook”)

1.2 The well-being of the family is a partnership between God and the parents

Psalm 127:3 (KJV) “Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Family was God’s idea. It was God who gave Eve to Adam and told them: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28).

1.3 Descendants to keep our name and family alive upon the earth.

Another point of building up a house, namely leaving Descendants to keep our name and family alive upon the earth. Without this, what is a person’s purpose in accumulating wealth? To what purpose does he build a house if he had none in his household to hold the house after him? What boots it that he is the Possessor of broad acres if he has no heir?

1.4 God’s blessing on the City (Psalm 127:1-2)

God’s blessing on the City (Psalm 127:1-2), begins with his blessing on the family (Psalm 127:3-5) – Since the family is the basic unit of society, if the families prosper, the nation prospers. If the families are neglected and decline, the entire nation will decline.

1.5 To Build

The connection between the first part (Psalm 127:1-2) of the Psalm and the remainder (Psalm 127:3-5) is better understood if it be remembered that the Hebrew word for “children” is from a root meaning to build.

The teaching on Psalm 127:1-2 is enforced by an example – the concept of the necessity of dependence upon God (Psalm 127:1-2) is carried over into the building of a family (Psalm 127:3-5). A recognition that children are God’s Gift is the basis for building a successful home. Conception is God’s reward to His people (Deuteronomy 28:4,11). The prosperity, alike of States and of Individuals, depends on nothing so much as on an abundant progeny (off-spring) of children. Children are manifestly God’s Gift. Psalm 127 is the middle Psalm of the third Group (Psalm 126 to Psalm 128) of the divisions of the Book of Psalms; and seems to have been chosen by Hezekiah as suited to his own childless condition during the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib (2Kings 18) and longs for the fulfilment of it in his case by the granting of an heir (2Chronicles 6:16; 7:18). Manasseh was born in Hezekiah’s seventeenth year on the throne, that is, the third of the added fifteen years (2Kings 20:18; 21:1).

2 Protection

Psalm 127:4-5a (KJV) “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (Warrior – NKJV), so are children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them.” – Children are precious – a heritage – and make the home a treasury. But they are also useful – like fruit and arrows – and make the home a garden and an armoury. If we do not raise our children to know and love the truth, who will plant the seeds of truth and fight the battles against lies and evil in the years to come? Children protect their aged parents as effectually as arrows in the hand of a Warrior (Mighty-man – KJV). Happy is the man who has abundant children for protection.

2.1 Speak in Defense

Psalm 127:5b (KJV) “They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” – Children speak in defence of their parents. “The Gate” – was the chief place of the city concourse for commerce, council, court (Deuteronomy 21:19; Ruth 4:1; Amos 5:12). It was the place where judgement was given, and where consequently adversaries were apt to meet, as they pushed their respective causes. The children of the family (father & mother) were to defend their father in the community court which meets at the city gate. A man who has many children to defend him, stands at an advantage.

2.2 Personal Application

A stalwart congregation (“many children”) conveys a sense of influence and power, enough, e.g. to make an unjust adversary hesitate to mount complaints or attacks – Psalm 127:5b (KJV) “They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 2)

In the Way

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The word “way” (derek), occurs seventy-five times in Proverbs. In only four cases does it denote an actual road or path:

  • In every other occurrence it poetically indicates “a way of life or manner of actions.” This could mean two things: (1) The child future calling and station; (2) His character and natural inclination and capacity.
  • The word “derek” (way) parallels God’s “works of old”“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old” (Proverbs 8:22) and “departing from evil” (Proverbs 16:17).
  • Several times, “derek” (way) parallels the thought of walking uprightly (Proverbs 14:2; 28:6,18). This lead, then, to the conclusion that “derek” (way) in Proverbs 22:6 refers to a way of life.
  • A contrast occurs between the careless keeping of a person’s way and keeping the “commandment” – Proverbs 19:16 “He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul, but he that despiseth His (God’s) ways shall die.”

Proverbs 22:6 implies that parents should discern the individuality and special gifting, talent and special strengths that God has given to the child. Parents teach their child on how to make decisions and the choosing of the right way. 

Training the child in “the proper way” is the most important – acknowledging the Divine standard in God’s Word (Scriptures). Wisdom in choosing the proper time and skill in adopting the best method and principles (God’s Word) as habits and character are in-grafted for life.   The application most naturally refers to providing suitable instruction to a child. The child needs and potential (talent, gifting, ability, etc) guide the parents as they direct his development. There is nothing in Proverbs 22:6 that limits this to the spiritual area only. The maxim (saying) rather suggests that the full scope of the child’s training lies within the realm of parental guidance. This sphere naturally includes the spiritual within its boundaries.

The guidance would embrace other areas of development as well.  Proverbs 22:6 is both a Command (“train up a child in the way he should go.”) and a Promise (“and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”). Parents should provide individualised training suitable to the needs and the potential of the child. His strengths and weaknesses, his temperament, his emotional needs, and a host of other attributes should be taken into consideration as the parents direct his way. As the parents remain faithful, they can have the assurance that their child will gradually adopt those ways and make them his own. The promise is that the child will never leave that path upon which he had been set by consistent training. The child will hold to his basic orientation, an underlying motivation that will point him along the right way of life. Mistakes in his life will not take place with enough frequently to become settled habits of life.

When children are thus trained up they will be led into the paths of life and peace, and even when they are old they will not turn aside out of them. Timothy from a child was trained up in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and the faith which dwelt in his grandmother, Lois and mother, Eunice (2Timothy 1:5; 3:16), dwelt in him also, for Scriptures made him wise unto salvation. It is a great pleasure to parents to see their children walking in truth, and it is an unspeakable heightening of that pleasure when their own instructions and admonitions have been blessed by God, as a means of conducting them into that good path. Parents love their children because the children were the “heritage” of their existence, but they will look upon their inheritance (given by God) with great joy when their children walk in the way in the Fear (Reverential Fear) of the LORD.

The Consequences of the Training

“When he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6b). Here is the reward of teaching the young. The work is slow but encouraging as we will see results surfacing. When the “values” have been imparted and laid holds on the child, it is not likely to be ever effaced (wipe or rub out). The teachings of the parents and grandparents are remembered after many years because good habits and character formed are not easily broken. What makes this assurance stronger is that habit and character become more powerful with each effort and each action. Every day the good habits the child has formed and are exercising become more deeply rooted in his life

Grandparents

Grandparents have a lifetime of experience. Old age symbolised in the Proverbs by “grey hair,” has a certain “glory” if it comes at end of a “righteous life” – “Grey hair is a crown of splendour; it is attained by a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31). Understandably, younger people do not appreciate the intrusion of aged parents (or grand parents) into their affairs, but they may be surprised at the sympathetic hearing they get when they take aged parents (or grand parents) into their confidence. The grey-headed (parents, grand-parents) should not be despised. Aged parents (or grand parents) needed not be written off as outdated if they have lived their years in a healthy relationship with a wise and loving God, they should have wisdom from which younger people can profit. In every generation, parents make sacrifices so that their children enjoy opportunities and benefits that they themselves were denied. Rarely do aged parents (or grand parents) show any jealousy because of this. On the contrary, they receive much enjoyment through seeing their children and grandchildren benefit from the privileges they lacked. This is one way in which “grandchildren” are the crown of the grandparents – Proverbs 17:6 “Children’s children are a crown to the aged (grand parents), and parents are the pride of their children.”

Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 1)

Scripture Text:

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

God’s Heritage:

Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are and heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward.

Children are the “heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). The Hebrew word for “children” is from a root meaning “to build.”

The recognition that children are God’s gift is the basis for building a successful home. Conception is God’s reward to His people (Deuteronomy 28:4,11). The prosperity, alike of States and of Individuals, depends largely on an abundant progeny (off-spring) of children. Children are manifestly God’s Free Gift.

God’s Word commands the parents to nurse and train up their children and those who obey His command shall be richly approbation (approval) of God, and the satisfaction of children who are well-brought up. Childhood is the proper period of education and this is universally acknowledged:

  • Each child begins a new life. If all that are desirable could be wrapped up in his being, this would need to be developed by training.
  • The child does not come into the world with a ready-made stock of experience and knowledge. He must learn truth and be made to see the right path, which is at first unknown to him.
  • The child needs not only be taught, but to be trained. He must be helped to do what is at first too much for his strength. His better nature must be drawn out, nourished, and confirmed.
  • Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15a) “But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15b). Training is the “rod of correction” (not necessarily the physical rod) that needs to be exercised by the parents and grandparents, with due care and love.
  • Habits and character have not yet been confirmed in the young child mind. Training moulds his habits and character. It is easier to form a character than to reform it.
  • A child is peculiarly open to religious impressions. As a Christian, faith is natural to a child. Teaching on God and the Bible is well received by him. A child is opened to influence, if he is not trained in goodness, he will follow his natural tendency to things that is not desirable
  • Early years of the child should be given to Christ. God seeks the opening bud and not the withered leaf.
  • Let the parents seek, besides training in good habits and character, to win his heart to that Divine Wisdom in his personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and walks with the Lord.

Train

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The initial command “train” (chanak), means, first, “to put something in to the mouth,” “to give to be tasted,” as nurses give to infants food which they have masticated (chew) in order to prepare it for their nurslings; thence it comes to signify “to give elementary instruction,” “to imbue (instil),” “to train.”

The maxim to mean that the child should be trained from the first in the right path – the path of obedience and relationship both of God and man. The “Law” of the training:

  • There is a practical end in education. We are not merely to teach doctrine, but chiefly to train conduct and character.
  • According to the right – There is a way in which a child ought to go. It is the parents’ responsibility to lead him in it.
  • According to future requirements – While the main principles of education must be the same for all children, the special application of them will vary in different cases. Parents apply them to the specific gifting, talents, calling, expected of each child.
  • According to personal qualities – Each child’s nature needs separate consideration and distinctive treatment. The training that would ruin one child might save another. Parents are not to drill all children into one mould fashion of behaviour; they have rather to call out the individual gifts and capacities, and guard against the individual faults and weaknesses. Thus, the training of a child will be the directing of his own specific nature.

This initial command of “train” states the need to prepare the “child” (na’ar). The verb “train” (hanok) occurs only five times, elsewhere all in connection with building and meaning “to begin the use of” (or “to dedicate”).

The verb, to train, indicates the first instruction that is given to a child, i.e. his early education. This training is designed to open before the child the manner of life for which he is intended. To commence the child’s education in this way is of great importance, for the tree follows the bend of its early years. Training should be sweetened by good nature and guided by good example, rather than by precepts only. Correction must likewise have its place in training up your children and God will crown the whole with His blessing. Of late years much attention has been directed to the distinction between teaching and training:

  • Teaching – The tendency in a former age to pile up reading, writing, and few other kindred arts, and call them education, was superficial in its philosophy, and may be disastrous in its practical results.
  • Training involves teaching. Moral training according to the Divine standard, with the view of moulding the child, while yet young and tender, into right principles and habits of action

The oldest training school is still the best: home is the best school-room, parents, grand-parents, brothers, and sisters have great part to play in the moulding of the child’s character.

To be continued…….. Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 2)