From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
There are certain truths we can teach and certain examples parents can set that will help guide children in making good decisions. For the rebellious child who wanders away from God, teaching Biblical principles at an early age can greatly enhance the possibility that God will use these truths to bring a wayward child back to the fold.
The Bible says: “Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Parents should not be unreasonable nor should they ever say things they do not mean. Children want their parents to care enough about them to be consistent, and yes even strict, and most certainly truthful.
The Bible teaches us to discipline our children. “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24). This starts with praying and asking God to impart His wisdom, and this comes through the reading of His Word. We are to train our children “precept upon precept, line upon line … here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:10). Parents always have the opportunity to be a good example to their children, no matter the age.
Children acquire the characteristics and habits of their parents. We should be honest enough to ask if we’re being wise and consistent in what we teach and how we live.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)