Since Adam's fall all of his descendants have been born in sin.
So every parent's job is to train up their children in the way they should go.
Psalms 78 sums it up very well.
King James Version (KJV)
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the YHVH, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7 That they might set their hope in Elohim, and not forget the works of Elohim, but keep his commandments:
8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with YHVH.
This describes our purpose in life as conveying the ways of YHVH to each generation as they come along.
We have both good and bad examples in ancient history and recent history as well.
These mysterious parables, and dark sayings of old belong to us and our children.
The secret things belong to Yahvah our Elohim; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
So how do we transfer these revelations to our children?
The book of Judges describes a scenario in which the next generation was not properly introduced to YHVH.
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not YHVH, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
Here is an inscription that Gov. William Bradford had engraved on his tombstone.
What our forefathers with so much difficulty secured, do not basely relinquish. -William Bradford
You can train a dog to do sit or fetch and you can train horses, monkeys, and parrots to do all manner of things.
Likewise you can train people to do all kinds of religious tricks and exercises but that does not necessarily indicate that they are receptive to the Holy Spirit's guidance.
The training of the mind and body is not the same thing as training the spirit. We must help them discern the difference between the holy and the unclean.
They need to know that the vast majority of rock and country musicians are serving the god of fame and fortune as well as most other famous people in the media and sports world.
If we parents have begun in the spirit, then we cannot expect our children to continue the course by way of the flesh, human intellect, or by second hand knowledge.
They too must have their own personal relationship with the Almighty.
We must teach our children (mitzvot) commandments as our forefathers did.
There is no substitute for teaching the truth (Thy word is truth John 17), but without the power of an endless life the torah is just a dead religion.
It's only when our children turn to the Messiah that the veil is lifted off of their eyes so that they can truly comprehend what they are reading, quoting or studying.
It is imperative for us to teach our children the Biblical "code of ethics" so that they can be in a position to be personally introduced to the Author of the Biblical "code of ethics".
So before during and after we teach our children biblical instructions we must compel them to receive the Holy Spirit otherwise they are still basically under the Old Testament. We should train our children of any age to anticipate a life changing experience with Yahshua.
The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Messiah. Knowing that we are guilty of transgressing the law is what brings us to repentance.
Many biblical commandments are a common sense type of information. Laws against bestiality, etc are not hard to understand.
But walking in the spirit is more than common horse sense. Common sense would not have built an ark in Noah's time.
Common sense would not have killed a giant with a slingshot. Common sense would not lead someone to try to observe the dietary laws while in Babylonian captivity.
It was not common sense for Yahshua to identify seven specific evil spirits and to cast them out of Mary Magdalene.
It was not common sense for Yahshua to spit on the ground and put the mud on a blind man's eyes.
We need to teach our children to expect the unexpected, and to covet spiritual gifts.
Like the rich young ruler many young people have been faithful to the teachings of their forefathers but they still know something is missing.
But it's not only young people who feel like something is lacking.
Even though some people may not be stealing, killing or committing adultery they may be hating or lusting in their hearts, and feel the condemnation that goes with that kind of mental bondage.
We know that faith comes by hearing the Word of Yahvah so that is the first step in training our children.
I would give you a word of caution though about relying on bible cartoons to instruct your children.
I am sure that an occasional bible cartoon that has been carefully screened is okay, but many are not good representations of the truth.
6. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
7. In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing soundness, gravity, sincerity,
8. Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
This description does not seem to fit cartoons like Veggie Tales very well.
The recent Epic Bible Series is very questionable in my opinion as well.
(The producers relied on Joel Olstein, T. D. Jakes and Rick Warren for their theological accuracy) Productions like The Passion by Mel Gibson reduce the story of the gospel to the realm of entertainment.
There is no substitute for direct input from fathers and mothers. We cannot expect someone else to do our job for us.
But how can we make reading the Torah as exciting as a Disney movie? The truth is we can't, but Yahshua can.
Of course it takes a miraculous intervention for that to happen but that is the only thing that will make the truth come alive.
Training requires discipline, structure and submission.
Often the second person in authority will have more of a direct impact on a child than the head of the household.
When the husband/father begins to teach any particular subject, the first thing most children do is to look to the mother to see her reaction.
If the mother reacts negatively then quite often the children do as well.
If the mother or older brother, etc accepts the instruction then quite often the younger child will also.
The older women are instructed to teach the younger women to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, etc.
These things can best be conveyed by older women because they were once young girls and they are capable of understanding the needs of the young girls.
Yahshua commanded us to both do and teach the commandments.
It's very important to teach by example but without specific nuts and bolts, the next generation will have a hard time seeing the need to lay down their lives.
This is where historical teaching comes in as very important. Biblical history is first and foremost but there are other examples of righteous people that we can benefit from in the last 2000 years.
The Waldensians, are one of the groups of people who have been faithful witnesses. There is a book entitled A THOUSAND SHALL FALL, which tells the story of a Sabbath keeping man who was drafted into Hitler's army in WW2.
He risked his life on a daily basis but remained true to his convictions and even kept the Sabbath all through his time in the army. These types of stories demonstrate practical applications of the faith in recent generations.
One reason our children go to worldly sources of entertainment for excitement is that their religious life is boring. Sometimes their boredom is caused because they have never been formerly introduced to Yahshua.
Individuals do not function at their best capacity in isolation and neither do families. Children in isolation often do not take parental instruction seriously, but when they hear other parents instructing their children in a similar manner it frequently has a positive impact on them.
So when faith does come by hearing the word of YHVH, and our children accept Yahshua as their savior, then what? After faith comes, they must add moral excellence to their faith as well as knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.
We must be careful not to doubt the possibility that our children may have legitimate spiritual discernment and sensitivities.
David was wiser than his teachers because he took heed to Yahvah's word.
Joseph and many other young men and women were used mightily at a young age.
As you train your children reflect on the major things that impacted you in a positive way when you were their age and utilize those things in training the next generation.
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