How are you doing Raising Responsible Adults?
The subject of Raising Responsible Adults is an excerpt from Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner and very applicable for all parents. Sparkling Gems is a daily devotional examining, in depth, the meaning of Greek words used in writing the New Testament. Following each article is A Prayer for Today; a Confession for Today and Questions for You to Consider. I highly recommend this book of common (or uncommon) sense.
Below is just one day’s teaching on the subject of Raising your Child Correctly in Your Home. As a substitute teacher with experience in 6 school districts, I come across so many discourteous, rude and “smart-aleck” children, it is obvious that God’s word is not being correctly taught to the young. As you read this, it’s hoped that you’ll receive God’s wisdom and guidance as you raise your child.
What Are You Teaching Your Children at Home?
“As parents, we have a responsibility to train and prepare our children to be successful in life, and there is no better classroom for teaching them the responsibilities of life than in our own homes. God expects us to teach our children how to conduct themselves, how to respond to authority, how to cooperate with others, how to work as a part of a team, and how to successfully execute daily responsibilities. By giving our children this kind of training, we prepare them for the real world where they will one day be employed and make a living.
The issue of properly training our children is extremely important. In First Timothy 3:4, the apostle Paul wrote that leaders are to set the example in this area for everyone else in the church. A leader must be “one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.”
Paul says that our children should be “…in subjection with all gravity.” The word “subjection” comes from the Greek word hupotasso. It means to set things in order or to be subject to someone else, and it strongly suggests the idea of obedience to authority. One expositor notes that this word implies a subjection to authority that can happen voluntarily or that can be required by force. It is important that Paul uses this word when speaking to parents, for it affirms that parents have the right to excise godly authority over their children. If children don’t voluntarily submit, parents have every right before God to force their children to obey.
Further confirming the strength of the word hupotasso, this word was a military term that was used to describe soldiers who were under the command or authority of a superior officer. As with all soldiers, they knew who their superior was; they understood how to respond to that superior officer; they knew their own place, function, and assignment in the army; and they understood both the rewards for obedience and the penalty for disobedience and disrespect. Let’s consider how this example of a soldier in the military applies to the training for our own children.
First, a soldier never questions who his authority is. He knows from the first day who is in charge and to whom he reports. Having this knowledge clears away any confusion about whom he is accountable to. He has been given clear instructions about who is the boss, and this sets things in order so he never has to wonder who is really in charge.
Likewise, parents need to make it clear from the time a child is young that Dad and Mom are the ultimate authority in the home. When a parent doesn’t exercise authority and lets a child get away with whatever he or she wants, it brings confusion into the home. ” (Confusion is of the devil.)
“Set things straight by making it known to your children that you are assuming your godly role as the leader of your home. By reaching your children to respond correctly to your authority at home, you are preparing them to respond properly to their future employers.
A soldier understands his daily responsibilities. For example, no soldier in the army wakes up and says, “Gee, I wonder what the sergeant will ask me to do today?” The soldier knows that certain responsibilities are regular and routine. He understands that he is expected to fulfill these basic duties each day – duties such as making his bed, combing his hair, grooming his face, shining his shoes, and wearing clothes that are pressed.
Likewise, your children need daily duties to teach them responsibility. By using the word hupotasso, Paul is telling us that, like soldiers, children need daily discipline – including responsibilities that are required and expected of them each day. This kind of “basic training” helps children understand the realities of work, the responsibilities of life, and how to be a part of a team.
It is my personal view that it’s wrong for a parent to make a child’s bed, clean up his room, pick up his mess after he showers, and wash his dishes after he eats while he sits and watches television. This kind of “schoolroom” represents an unrealistic picture of life for the child. In the real world, no one will do everything for him when he’s an adult. He’ll get a big shock when he goes out into the world and suddenly discovers that no one is going to be easy on him in the workplace and that he has to carry his own weight of responsibility.
If a soldier fails in performing his basic duties, he knows beforehand that it will result in some kind of penalty. By using the word “subjection” (hupotasso), Paul embraces this picture of military order that includes rewards for a job well done and penalties for poor performance.
Rewards are very important as you teach your children. Rewards become goals and aspirations to help motivate a child to achieve bigger and better results. Teaching this to your child at home will help him later when he gets a job and wants a bigger salary. He will understand that to receive better wages, he will have to put out better work. Teaching our sons and daughters that nothing comes free in life is imperative if we want them to be blessed as adults.
But as important as it is to give your children rewards for a good performance, it is also important to give them penalties for a poor performance. Why should a bad job be rewarded? Will your children be rewarded for a bad performance when they go out into the workplace and get a job? Of course not! Therefore, it is part of your parental responsibility to ingrain into your children the principle that good work reaps a good reward, but poor work produces undesirable consequences. That doesn’t mean you have to berate them for unsatisfactory work. You just need to take the time to lovingly explain and demonstrate how different levels of work are rewarded differently.
It is amazing that all these concepts are concealed in the Greek word hupotasso, translated in First Timothy 3:4 as the word “subjection.” Unfortunately, we live in a day when parents are afraid to be the authority in the home as God has called them to be. But you have no need to be afraid. God has designated you to be a leader and a teacher for your children. If you don’t assume this place of responsibility and teach them the necessary principles for success, who will prepare them for life!
So follow God’s pattern of parenting. Give your children responsibilities to regularly perform. Make sure they understand the rewards and penalties for not doing, what is expected. Do everything you can to help prepare your children for a successful, disciplined life. When they grow up and begin to work in the real world, they will thank you for investing your time and love into preparing them for life!”
The courts, lawyers and spineless Boards of Education have taken away all ability for teachers to do any of the aforementioned tasks. Teachers are fired, sued, brow-beaten, scolded and taught not to impose their will on the students. The use of distracting various personal electronic devices are routinely allowed including texting and playing games. (I found a student this week who was taking a test, playing a game while not finished with his test.)
Point your finger at yourself and repeat these words. “It is up to me to teach my child. I am responsible in Raising Responsible Adults. Father God help me! In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner is published by Teach All Nations, P.O. Box 702040, Tulsa, OK 74170 and is in at least its 9th printing.
Great article! Thanks for getting this out there.