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Parents the first teacher to their children  By Etopabasi Akpan

Parents the first teacher to their children By Etopabasi Akpan

Parents have great responsibility of setting example for their children to follow. When children grow up in a home that is conducted after the principles of God, then good citizen are trained for society. However the family is a God created institution. In the family, children learn principles and personality skill by which they can live in society. It is also in the family that children develop their characteristics. It is important, therefore, that fathers and mothers take special care in teaching their children relationship and behavioral skills that are based on sound moral and ethical principle.

In the Bible, God commands and ordained parents to teach their children characters and moral principles which will be well with them, church and the society. When parent implement this responsibility, they are respected by their children. A family is broken, disconnected, confused and mutiny becomes order of the day when parents neglect their duty to teach.

The term teaching means to pass on knowledge. However, parents are saddled with the responsibility to teaching their children how to honor, obey, submit, abstain from evil, humble and develop faith in God. When this is done, such children become useful and beneficial to their parents, church and the society.

Honour to Parents:  Honour means showing great respect and admiration to somebody. It is one of the ten commandments God gave to Moses to give to Israel, Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and mother”. It is through teaching that parents can inject a character of respect to their children. When children are taught by their parents to respect them, they will in turn respect others in authority in the society. Ephesians 6:2-3 says “honor thy father and mother which is the first commandment with promise so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth”. Disrespectful children are nuisance in the society while respectful ones build family, church, society and in turn live long on earth and are blessed by God.

Obedient:  Another character which parents are to teach their children is obedience. The word obedient means doing what one is told to do or expected to do or to comply with instruction of people in authority. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children to obey them, so as to obey people in authority in the church and society. Any parent who neglect to impart this character in their children, are not wishing them well. Children who do not obey people in authority bring conflict and sorrow to the family, themselves, church and society. In the letter of Paul to the Ephesians 6:1, it says “Children obey thy parents in the Lord, for this is right”. Paul stated further in the book of Colossians 3:20 “Children obey your parents in all things, for this is pleasing to the Lord”. Disobedient children are not accepted in ideal society. Hence parents are strictly instructed in the scripture to teach their children how to obey.

Obedience is a virtue that manifests the integrity of a self-disciplined life. It is a personality characteristic that goes beyond individual act of submission. It is a personality that is what is right in every situation where one encounters that needs of his fellow man.

Submissiveness: When children obey their parents, they are manifesting the spirit of submission and honour to their parents. The word submissive simple means willing to obey somebody whatever one is asked to do. Parents are blessed with the power to teach their children on how to submit to them first before others in the society. When this character becomes part and parcel of children, they will be keen to submit to others in the church, family and society. In 1 Peter 5:5 the Bible says, “likewise ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another and be cloth with humility for God resisted the proud, and gives grace to the humble”. If parents want their children to attain greatness in life, they should be taught to be submissive.

Do Not Conform to Evil:  There is a saying that bad company corrupt good morale “1 Cor. 15:33. Parenting means more than fulfilling a biological function, it involves being concern about every aspect of children’s growth and development. Children should be monitored and know the companion they keep. If they are found keeping bad company, they should be called to order and disclose the danger involved in such relationship. And the glamour embedded in one who keeps good companion. No sensible man, church, society and organization will accept a child with evil character. It is imperative that parent teach their children the company they keep. If parents neglect this duty, children will invariably associate themselves with bad company and will adopt their motives and subsequently carry out wrong behavior and become human animal in the society, instead of human being.

As children grow into adulthood, they seek to explore the world. Evil time will result. Jesus explained such evil time when He stated “brother will betray brother to death, and the father to son. And children will rise against their parents and will cause them to be put to dead” (Mark 13:12). It is during evil time as this that children become disobedient to their parents. When children do not learn God’s will, they bring evil times. Disobedient to parent is a sign that there is wickedness in society. Therefore young people play an important role in maintaining orderliness in the society when they are obedient to the instruction of their parent. (Pro. 1:8, 6:20). “My son, here the instruction of your father and do not forsake the law of your mother”. (Pro. 10:1). “He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach” (Pro. 19:26).

Develop Faith in God: It is the duty of parents to teach their children develop faith in God. The bible discloses that about the early childhood of Jesus is mentioned in Luke when he recorded an incident that happened in Jesus life when he was about twelve years old. When young people seek to do God’s business, they focus on doing good not evil. Parents should teach their children to serve God. As Jesus, they seek to discuss spiritual subjects and do things with others. When children are taught to focus their attention on spiritual things, their taught are on the right things not bad things. Their mines are on spiritual things not things of the world. When children are taught to developed faith in God, who is the owner and provider of all things, their future becomes brighter and they can achieve greater things in life. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt.6:33).

Be Humble: the beauty of humanity is in the fact that others are drawn to people. We seek to be in the presence of the humble people. Humble parent produce an environment in the home where the minds of children are open for instruction. This word humble means to show that one is not as important as the other people. Humility is recognizing that one never has all the answers for every situation in life. It is developing one’s life around others and God, rather than one’s self. Great men realize their weakness, and then compensate for their weakness by relying on the counsel of others.

Conclusively, parents who want their children to be great in future should first teach them how to be humble, submit, abstain from evil, develop faith in God and also monitor this character as they grow. Humility can be imparted to children by commanding them to summit to their parents, carefully following the counsel of their parents even when they came to make their choices in life. Pro.15:33 “The fear of the lord is the instruction of wisdom and before honor is humility”.

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