We are familiar with The Ten Commandments given to us in the Bible (Exodus 20). They are a standard for God’s creation to live “right” before a Holy and Righteous God. These instructions were given to mankind out of God’s abundant love; His perfect love. Our parental efforts toward our children relates to the same mindset.
We want to set a standard of good choices that will insure them safety, protection and an abundant life. This desire stems from our abundant love for them. The good news for parents is that we can look up to the “Perfect Parent”, God, and confidently want for our children the same that God wants for His creation and know that it is the most excellent way for them to go.
The first four commandments have to do with our relationship with the Lord. They speak to His rightful place in our lives and the priority He should have. The next six speak to our relationship with mankind, or each other. It is those six commandments that we would naturally strive to focus on as parents. Our children’s life issues mostly flow from their relationships with others. So we understandably major on the “do not steal, do not murder, do not covet”. We also would naturally give attention to the fifth commandment that instructs children to “honor their parents”.
This commandment is referred to as the commandment with a promise, unlike any of the others. These are all honorable efforts and if obeyed will go far in keeping our children on the right path. But we must, however, consider why they would choose to obey these commandments. That is probably why God established the first four to direct us in our relationship with Him. If we focus more on the first four commandments in training our children, the other commandments will fall naturally into place. How we treat others stems from God’s place in our priorities. To not steal is a natural component to God having His rightful place in their hearts. It is a “respect and reverent fear of God” that directs us to “right” living and our children are no different.
“Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all.”Psalm 36:1 (NLT)
When we model for our children a humbled attitude toward God, it will go far in constraining them in their choices and decisions. To be reminded in our conscience that God “knows” and that we should desire to please Him is a tool that is always with them. Proverbs 7:1-3 (NLT): “Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes. Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.”