Unlike material possessions which will fade, our children will live on after we are gone and influence generations to come. It is vitally important how we influence their lives for God!

Most parents sadly have left the training and influence of their children to the ungodly public school system, unsaved coaches and counselors, lost family members, unsaved neighbors, video game makers, Hollywood movie makers, and whoever or whatever they spend the most time with. With all of the ungodly influences that our children have over them, it is more important than ever that they have the influence of a godly male father and a godly female mother.

There are consequences when we don’t raise our children the way that God intended.

Bible examples:

  1. The wrong way, Eli and his sons:

In I Samuel chapters 1-4 we have the story of Hannah whose womb was barren and she went to the temple and cried out to God for a son. Hannah promised God that if He gave her a son, she would give him back to God for the service of the LORD.

Eli the high priest saw her mourning and said that God would answer her prayer. In fact Hannah did conceive and had a son and named him Samuel which means "asked of God". Hannah took young Samuel to the temple to serve under Eli as she had promised God.

What I want you to see is not Samuel but the two sons of the priest Eli. Their names were Hophni and Phineas. They were responsible for taking care of the sacrifices of the temple. Not only did they not do that, they took the offerings given for the temple and kept it for themselves, they offered the sacrifices improperly and even took sacrifices over and above what they were to take for themselves. They had illicit relationships with many women in the temple.

If Eli the high priest spent as much time and effort raising his sons properly as he did with Samuel, maybe they would have turned out right.

Look in I Samuel 2:27-36. A man of God comes to Eli and rebukes him for this and tells him of the consequences to come.

God also speaks to young Samuel and tells him of Eli’s neglect in I Samuel 3:11-13.

Look also at I Samuel 4:17-18 to see that the man of God’s prophecy does come to pass. There are consequences for not raising Godly children!

II. The right way, Solomon: (note, Solomon of course was not perfect, but let’s look at his teaching to his children)

Look at Proverbs 4:1-5. Solomon is teaching his children and he mentions how his father David taught him.

After his father King David dies, Solomon asks God for wisdom in I Kings 3:3-14.

In raising his children like his father David taught him, God blessed Solomon with great wisdom and used him to write the book of Proverbs. Included in this book are scriptural keys that God used Solomon to write concerning discipline and the rearing of Godly children.

Just to mention a few:

Proverbs:

-3:11-12, "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."

-13:24, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."

-19:18, "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."

-22:15, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

-23:13-14, "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

The results of loving discipline:

-Proverbs 23:24-25, "The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice."

-29:17, "Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul."

Like the high priest Eli, lack of or incorrect discipline will lead to parental shame and embarrassment years later:

Proverbs:

-10:1, "The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother."

-15:20, "A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother."

-17:25, "A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him."

-28:7, "Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father."

-29:15, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."

We can see the very serious responsibility we have as parents to raise Godly children in an ungodly world. But the second part of the twofold responsibility rests with

  1. The children’s responsibility:

The only responsibility for those in submission is to obey! Anyone in submission must realize that the power in the relationship is in their submission to the authority that God has place in their lives!

Bible example:

The young Samuel when his mother brought him to the temple and gave him back to God for service.

I Samuel 1:24, "And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young."

-2:18, "But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod."

-3:1, "And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli."

-3:3-10, "And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth."

Samuel was obedient and God used him and spoke to him!

Isaac, the son of Abraham was obedient to his father when he took him and laid him on the altar of sacrifice as God had commanded him in order to test his faith.

We need to raise our children with:

-The convictions of Joshua who said, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".

-The courage of David who said, "is there not a cause".

-The character of Joseph, who refused to sin against God with his masters wife.

-The compassion of the Lord Jesus who looked at the multitudes and was moved with compassion on them as a sheep without a Shepard.