In the last blog I highlighted the following post from http://www.gty.org/blog/B101022 . I sincerely hope it causes us to think through some of the prevailing myths that are thrown at us by a world that has no concern nor concept regarding biblical parenting. Here is the second part of Myth Busting:
Myth # 6: “My wife should take responsibility for training our children since I work.”
Husbands, don’t turn God’s calling for your wife (Titus 2:4-5, to love you and your children, and keep the home) into a fatal parenting myth. God’s instruction to your wife doesn’t excuse you from parental responsibility. Scripture presents parenting as a joint-effort, and it also issues several commands directly to you fathers—it’s your responsibility to train your children (Eph 6:4, Col. 3:21). It’s true, your wife will spend more time at home with the kids while you work, but that doesn’t eliminate or diminish your responsibility to join her—in fact to lead her—in the parenting task.
Myth # 7: “My children won’t be able to understand spiritual truths until they are much older.”
Biblical history, human history, and common experience demonstrate how young children can comprehend spiritual truth. Remember the prophet Samuel, or the young king Josiah? Samuel’s close relationship to the Lord began at a very young age (1 Sam. 2:26), and king Josiah instigated spiritual revival in Judah when he was only a teenager (2 Kings 22:1; 2 Chronicles 34:33). In 1735, during the American Great Awakening, God saved Phebe Bartlet, a young girl in Jonathan Edward’s congregation, when she was only 4 years old. Parents and pastor alike thoroughly examined her comprehension of gospel truth and found clear evidence that she was born again. Time proved the genuineness of her profession. One of her favorite activities was attending church to hear the preaching of her pastor, Jonathan Edwards (not a theological lightweight). Don’t fool yourself parent—and certainly don’t try and fool your children. They are sharper than you think.
Myth # 8: “If I spank my children, it will exasperate and provoke them.”
Sadly, this myth is alive and well in many Christian homes. It intimidates parents and spoils children. Contrary to our anti-spanking culture, Proverbs 13:24 says, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Truth is, if you want to provoke and spoil your children, just continue to shelter them from the painful consequences of disobedience (Prov. 29:15). No kid loves a spanking, and we don’t like discipline either, do we? But the writer of Hebrews tells us that discipline yields peaceful, productive fruit (Heb. 12:5-11). (Here are a few other Scriptures to counter this insidious myth—Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13; 29:17).
Myth # 9: “Spanking my children is the key to successful biblical parenting.”
For some of you, spanking your child seems quicker, easier, and more effective than the relentless dawn-to-dusk instruction called for in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (see Myth #4). Ephesians 6 also calls for “discipline,” but Paul clearly has more in mind than spanking. The positive command, “Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (v. 4), refers to the systematic training and instruction of children. Literally, the word “instruction” could be translated “putting in mind.” As a parent, you want to impart the knowledge of God regularly and lovingly to your child under the guidance of Scripture. That is the key to successful parenting. Spanking is just one part of that larger task.
Myth # 10: “If I teach my kids properly, God promises they’ll eventually turn out well.”
No doubt you’ve heard this myth. It’s a popular interpretation, and application, of Proverb 22:6—“Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it.” How many times have you seen a parent cling to that verse in desperation as they watch defiant children forsake all they were taught? Some children sit under loving, prayerful instruction from their parents, only to later shame them with a scandalous lifestyle. It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it. But Solomon’s proverb is not meant to be a gilt-edged guarantee your child will eventually trust Christ and live righteously. Solomon is simply saying early training usually secures lifelong habits. It’s a charge to give great care and consistency to how and what you teach your children. God promises to bless us for parental faithfulness, but that doesn’t necessarily mean our children will be saved. They have their own relationship with God to work out.