By CELESTINA OMOJEVWE
MANY youths today fail to understand what the Bible says regarding how parents should bring up their own children. And it is something parents need to uphold and handle with care. According to proverb 22:6, the bible says: “Train up a child in way he should go; even when he grows old he will not depart from it? But sad to say, only few parents heed this counsel and follow its directive.
Many parents bring their children into the world and forget to take good care of them spiritually and physically, some would take care of their children’s physical needs and forget about the spiritual aspect which is also important in bringing up a child into adulthood.
From infancy, as that little child emerges into youth, start to care for the child’s spiritual needs as you also care for his daily physical needs. Start with useful features of good web site, or story books where you can find some illustrated Bible stories, pictures, activities, videos, and Bible lessons that can help you teach your children how to be proper children. Teach your children things like greetings in English language and your local dialect, especially regarding their relations with older ones, who they would encounter. And also to be an obedient child, show kindness, not to be an aggressive child, to get along with others easily.
Read aloud books like My Book of Bible stories,’ and let them learn from the “Great Teacher,” both are beautifully illustrated books designed for you to read with your children.
Also, for teenagers, we should not feel that because we are no longer children, we can not accept correction from older ones especially from our parents, or guardians. We should not allow civilization to make us act erroneously, but as wise persons.
“Let your heart be glad in the days of your youth.” – Ecclesiastes 11:9. As youths we want to gladden God’s heart and make our parents be proud of us as their children, so we do the right thing they tell us, but must obey God as ruler rather than men (Acts 5:29). Like Apostle Peter, we want to obey God as the sovereign ruler of the universe rather than obeying our parents when they tell us to follow a wrong course that deprive us from serving Jehovah God.
In other words, as youths we want to use our days in serving God not when calamitous days begin, we will say we have not delight in them (Ecclesiastes 12:1). And because man does not know his time, just like fishes that are being taken in an evil net, and birds that are being taken in a trap so the sons of men are being ensnared at a calamitous time when it falls upon them suddenly. As a youth we should learn to work in God’s way, not being like “a mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver, neither any lover of wealth with income. This too is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Teenagers need to imbibe what is good so as not to sour their hands with unclean practices that might lure them away from serving God faithfully.
Furthermore, teenagers should also encourage parents by not using harsh words on them, parents have gone through a lot to bring us up. Teenagers should avoid using negative tones like ‘I’m not a child anymore; mind your business; I need to be left alone at all times. (So as to avoid taking discipline from their parents or guardians).
Our parents are channels for bringing us into this word, feeding us and caring for us; they cannot give us stone when we need bread, can’t give us alcoholic drink when we need water. They love us and want the best for us, we should reciprocate these kind gestures by accepting disciplines from them. Above all, this gladdens Jehovah’s heart.
More so, as a youth, we should avoid peer pressure that make us to do bad things. “Bad associations spoil useful habits,” – (I Corinthians 15:33). We don’t want to become people pleasers, by doing a wrong course that we know is wrong, just because when confronted with the situation, our emotions take over. Peer pressure is not just pressure put on you by peers, but often comes from your inner most heart. You desire the things your peers are talking about, that they may seem so exciting. “When I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me.” – Romans 7:21.
Additionally, facing up to peer pressure is an accomplishment that you can be proud of. “Maintain a good conscience.” – 1 Peter 3:16. because nothing beats going to sleep at night with a good conscience. So think beyond the present. If you are in school, in a few years or even months, the very people you are trying to impress may not even be in your life in future, so staying true to ones belief matter most.
Even at school, especially in higher institutions, peer pressure are all over the places, street corner, campuses. It comes in various forms like smoking cigarette with friends, commiting immorality, engaging in armed robbery, even getting involved in occult practices, and many more taking a different stand refusing fear of men can make us have a clear conscience before God. And it will really make known that we are no longer but adults or full grown up teenager, having a say in ones life can make us say ‘I’m not a child’, because solid food belongs to mature ones, while milk belongs to babes, but not to the extent of refusing disciplines.
In essence, there are useful features of the website and even bound books they can read, there are sections and videos that can help youths, if you are lonely, have problems at school, if you have broken a house rule, sexually harassed. Also, volumes 1 and 2 of Questions young people Ask – Answers that work, tackle 77 important frequently asked questions.
These materials above can help teenagers, children, even adults whenever they are faced with serious questions in life, why not make good use of the bible quotation and the source materials, you will find comfort for your soul.