Diligent Parents Needed
Parents who endeavor to raise kids with 'good morals' often teach the cause and effect principle without realizing that the principle is rooted in the Bible. Those with no religious preferences will only be able to draw a certain amount from remnants left behind by forefathers who relegated such teachings as 'old-fashioned'.
There is nothing 'old-fashioned' about the Word of God. It stands true and unchanging through the centuries. God made it clear to families crossing into the Promised Land that compliance with teaching the Law day and night would ensure things went well for them and for their children. Memorial stones were built as constant reminders to repeat how the Lord delivered the former generations and of His continued blessings throughout the years. To turn from the Lord's commandments and not comply meant consequences. Wise parents model the Biblical principles of compliance or consequence.
Parents must be diligent in teaching their children the precepts of the Ten Commandments. Not just on Sundays, but throughout each day. This passage is not referring to talking about having deep theological conversations with children, but imparting the basics over and over and over again. In doing so, the commandments will be instilled into the minds and hearts of children. At five years old, a child will have ingrained into their minds that stealing is wrong. The twelve year old would be deeply convicted of the need to honor and respect parents. The sixteen year old would understand that gossiping and bullying is akin to bearing false witness and murder (hating in the heart).
Parenting according to Deuteronomy is not for the faint-hearted. Effective parenting is a sacrificial act of service that frequently does not bear fruit for years, and will stretch patience thin. Scripture is clear that parents must need to be actively involved with the children during all of the hours the children are with the parents. From the time the household gets up until the time the last one goes to bed at night, parents must intentionally speak into the life of their child. Ever watchful, ever listening for the slightest indication that something isn't right in the heart of the child. Perhaps it is the derogatory comment made against a sibling. Left unchecked, the pattern will continue and before long the child will be making slanderous and rude comments on the school bus, in a classroom, or on the basketball court. The older the child is when correction by the parent takes place, the greater the challenge of reigning in the negative behavior.
No Scripture can be a 'stand-alone' when it comes to parenting, no more than it would be ok to look at any other topic and pull a singular Scripture and use it as the basis for living. Teaching the Ten Commandments to a child is important, but will not be enough to combat societal trends on most issues. Let's examine the topic of bullying. If parents have taught the child not to bear false witness against someone, and left the topic as finished, there will be a price to be paid. Wisdom would dictate also imparting Scriptures such as Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Equally as important as imparting Scriptures is the need to balance out Scriptures with today's societal pressures. If a tween or teen is being bullied, it would be unwise for a parent to merely quote Matthew 5:11 and walk away, leaving the child to feel there is no hope.
Statistically, 40% of students are bullying/cyberbullying perpetrators, victims, or both. Merely saying "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil about you because of me" will not suffice. While adults may be able to simply ignore the insults, children are unable to handle the pressure. A parent ignoring the growing anxiety and moodiness of a child being bullied is missing the critical need to be 'connected' to their child from morning until night, as Deuteronomy urges.
Grounding youth in Biblical principles, talking to them about the truth and consequences of engaging in societal trends, and building deep relationships with the youth are all vital components of determining the successful outcome of having youth who have proven to be resilient against the trends of their culture. As watchmen on the wall, pastors and youth leaders, as well as parents, need to be knowledgeable of trends as they emerge and be prepared to navigate children and youth through the traps the enemy has laid out in the mine fields of culture.
Copywritten material, taken in part from authors text.