Technically this is the beginning of my series in training daughters to be Proverbs 31 women, but to effectively do that, we must cover some of the basics of parenting and that applies to both girls and boys. So, my hope is that we will cover the basics of parenting and then once we do that, move on to specifics with training daughters. I will tell you from the very beginning, I do not come to this subject as a perfect parent. I have made many mistakes and know there will be more that I do make. I am not an expert on parenting, but I do know the One who is. It is His knowledge I hope to impart, because really His knowledge is all that is worthy of repeating. God does have a manual for training our children. It is called the Bible. So as simple as this first idea may sound, I would recommend that you only and always defer to His Word when it comes to how to raise your children. Everything we need for instruction in righteousness can be found in the Word. Oftentimes we do not go to the Word for our answers. We go to modern psychology, or parenting experts, or to our neighbours and friends and we never stop to read what God has already said on the issue.
Now, I am not saying that we should not seek help from others. The Bible clearly talks about Titus 2 women training younger women in respecting their husbands and teaching their children. What I am saying is that if those friends, experts, neighbours do not give you advice based on the Word of God, then dismiss it. If you ever feel anything I say is of my own understanding and not founded on God's principles, then I want you to reject that as well.
So, my first piece of advice would be to immerse yourself in the Bible, and while you are doing that, immerse your children in the Word as well. How many times during a day do your children hear the Word of God read? Almost everyday in our home we have two devotionals. I do one with the children in the morning and my husband leads one in the evenings. But, what if your children do not sit still? Train them to do so. Having quiet times of sitting while you read the Bible and pray is a good practice for young ones. At two years of age, our youngest was able to sit still for Bible reading and prayer. While they are young, we would only read a few verses and pray. Now our youngest is five and we read chapters aloud, pray and even try to sing many times. This is the time that your children will remember the Word. I am amazed at how many Bible verses my oldest has memorized just by hearing the Bible repeated to her day after day.
God said His Word will not return to Him void. What better way can we begin to train our children in righteousness than by filling their minds and hearts with God's Word? Many of us read many other books to our children. We allow them to play video games and watch DVD's. If they can sit still for those things, they can sit still to feast on what is far more important for their souls. And quite frankly, for ours as well. We used to read Bible storybooks to our children and I am not saying that many of those are not good. We just found that our children understand so much more than we give them credit for and we felt that reading the infallible Word of God was far greater to them. I have found that many Bible storybooks take great liberties with the Scripture, leaving out crucial parts and inserting things that were never intended to be there in the first place. Did you know that when Moses would read the law to the Israelites, he read it to whole families? That's right...men, women, young people, infants...it was a Word from God and that made it important for everyone to hear. Deut. 31:11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
So there is the precedent for our family...found in the Word of God. We have seen it make such a difference in our children. So, if you read to your children from the Word, I admonish you to keep on and maybe even challenge you to do more. The Bible is one book that will never be a waste and the one book you can never read too much. May the Lord bless you as you train your children for His glory!