Today, I am preparing to teach my staff the last lesson on mentoring. It has been a great ride. We have learned how to be mentored, the need for it, and how to mentor others. This final lesson covers the most important mentor/disciple relationship, parents and children. The number one influences and teachers in a child’s life are his parents. This is God’s design. The good thing about our God is that when He asks us to do something, He always teaches us how to do it in His Word. Our job is to discover those teachings, learn them, live by them, and apply them. Here are the passages where these teachings come from.
I. The parent-mentor
If you are like I am, your first questions is probably “how?”. God has the answer. The first thing that you do is know and live out God’s Word yourself. If you know God’s Word and yet do not apply It, then your children will see your hypocrisy and will not want to follow you or listen to you. Kids do not like the phrase, “do as I say, not as I do”. Fathers, you are the main teachers in your child’s life. Spiritual teaching is not something that is to be outsourced, something for mom to take care of or the Sunday school teachers. Mom is super important and so are the Sunday school teachers, but God lays the responsibility in your lap as the spiritual leader of your family. Dad, are you being the spiritual leader that God designed you to be or are you running away from your responsibilities? As a husband and father, you are to teach your children by teaching them to honor their mother, your wife. Do not undercut her in front of your children. You and your wife are working together as a team to raise up the children in the Way. Be a team player. Do not talk bad about her in front of the children. Reinforce her teaching in front of the children. The manual that you use to teach the children is the Word of God. In order to be a great teacher, you must first be a great student. Be the example for your children in studying God’s Word and applying what you learn. Allow God’s Word to lead you and it will be easy to teach your children to do the same. Be disciplined in your study and application of God’s Word and they will learn those habits from you. Use God’s Word to teach your children about everyday life’s situations, how to handle them victoriously. Let your children know that you have a mentor who is investing in you and that is why you invest God’s Word in them.
II. Specific things to teach your children
God’s Word is practical for daily living. It is not just a church book. It is a guide for day to day living. Here are some of the things that the Bible teaches us to teach our children.
- Know the Lord through His Word
- Fear the Lord – Fear in this context means to respect, not be afraid of Him.
- The commands of God are not to hinder you but They are there to protect you.
- The dangers of sexual immorality
- 40% of adults are living together before marriage
- 8 million teens infected with STD’s every year
- ½ marriages end in divorce
- number doubles for those who live together before marriage
- 35% of all women of reproductive age in America today will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45
- Most women getting abortions (83%) are unmarried
- How to recognize the adulteress
- How to avoid being the adulteress
- She has a smooth tongue (she knows how to say what you want to hear)
- She enhances her beauty to entice you
- She knows how to use her eyes to entice you (what we call “bedroom” eyes)
- She is on the hunt
- She will ruin you
- Teach them the character and nature of God
- Teach them to love the Lord with all that they are
- Trust in the Lord
- Do not think that you know it all
- Be teachable
- Do all that you do to acknowledge God
- Allow Him to guide your path in life
- Do not be wise in your own eyes
- Be ready to take advice
- Respect the Lord in all that you do
- Use your possessions to honor God
- Give God the best of all that you have
- Allow God to discipline you
- Receive God’s reproof
- Hate evil
- Perverted mouth
III. The child’s responsibility
We have seen in all the lessons that mentoring is a two-way street. A parent can teach, exemplify, pray, and do everything else right yet the child still has his responsibility. He has to observe what his father teaches him and do not forsake what his mother teaches him. Observe, in this context and passage, means to keep in front of you day and night in order to figure out how it works. As a child, I must take the teachings of my father, which in context, are the Scriptures, and allow them to guide me day and night. Forsake, in this context, means to reject, to loosen, to discard. I cannot let the teachings of my mother go in one ear and out the other. I am responsible for making them stick and living by them. This is how I can honor my father and mother, as the Bible commands. In the family, we are a team. I have my part as a child and my parents have their part. The third part of the equation is the Lord. He has given His Word and the ability to obey. We must each do our parts and trust that things will work out as God says. Once I grow older and begin to step out on my own, either in my teenage years or later on, once I leave the house, I must remember the teachings that my father gave to me and apply them in all of life’s situations, especially when sexual temptation rears its ugly head.
Are you mentoring your children? Do you know how to do it? Do you teach your children the specific things that we covered in this article? Are you working together with your spouse as a team? What changes do you need to make as a parent based on what you have learned? May the Lord help us be great mentors, leading our children to Christ and training them in righteousness as the Word of God teaches.