Teach our children
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. (NIV)
Parents are the single greatest influence to determine who our children will become. The joy of a righteous child is not something we hope to have, but something we can foster and bring into existence.
It is said of Christ that He endured the cross for the joy set before Him. This is the pattern of the things of God. To have the joy that comes with the blessings of the Lord, there is a cross to bear. There is a difficulty, sacrifice, love, and a desire to see others prosper even if it steals away from our own personal agenda.
To teach our children the way they should go, we must first know the way ourselves. A righteous child must be taught righteousness. They can learn it outside the home. However, if they must learn it outside the home, it was not present in the home. And flesh gives birth to flesh. Righteousness learned outside the home comes later after much heartache. Righteousness learned at home requires sacrifice, but rescues us and our children from a great deal of pain.
To teach our children the way they should go, time is required. When parents see themselves as the primary mentor for their children to teach them wisdom, it will mean time to stop at the moment to point out the lesson to be learned.
To teach our children, patience is required. The Bible commands fathers not to exasperate their children. Exasperation is the frustration of never being good enough. When we spend all of our time correcting the negative, and none of our time celebrating the positive, our children will feel they can never please us. Then they give up and rebellion follows.
To teach our children, love is required. Love is laser-focused on doing and saying what is necessary for their good. If we are too self-involved, we put their righteousness and wisdom at risk.
The Bible says wisdom is worth more than all we have. Departing wisdom to our children daily is a cross to endure, but the joy that comes later will be more than worth it.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be a father that raises up righteous children. Amen.