"I'll Be Careful"

Posted by Mark Lindley on 20 February 2019 | Comments

Children say the funniest things. I have a three-year old daughter whose vocabulary seems to expand every day. The things she says sound too “grown-up” for a barely three-year old toddler.

            Recently, as Bree was about to leave to go to day-care, she gave me a hug and said, “I’ll be careful.” What? I had not said anything to her about “being careful.” Why did she say that? It must be that she has heard her mother and I tell our older sons who drive to “be careful” as they leave for work and school.

            This simple illustration reveals that children learn so much—whether good or bad—from parents. What they hear parents say, what they see parents do, they will likely say and do.

            The Bible teaches that parents have an obligation to teach and train children to do what is right. Consider the following: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Although this statement is found in the Old Testament, rather than the New, the principle of this verse still applies to parents today. The words “train up a child,” would certainly involve training children to pursue things in life which are good, honorable, and right.

            The New Testament teaches the same principle: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). To bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord would certainly include: 1) teaching children to believe in the Lord; 2) teaching children about the Lord’s Word, the Bible. Such teaching must be done by giving children instruction from the Bible, and by example. Teaching the Bible will be much more effective if the one teaching tries to set the proper example.

            If we want our children to have good morals and ethics, those of us who are parents should teach these things by the Word and example. If we want our children to be faithful to God, we should teach them by the Word and example to be faithful to God. If we want our children to have strong, Christian homes one day, we should provide them with an example of a Christian home, and teach them to live the Christian life.

            Every day our children are learning by the things we say and do. Let’s be sure we are teaching them things which will help them become servants of God. We only get one shot at training our children. Let’s make the most of it!

            I hope my little girl, Bree, is having a good day…and I hope she will “be careful”!