5 Ways to Help Your Children Walk in the Truth

Pastor Paul Chappell

Posted On: 

November 16, 2018

• If I can just make it through today…
(particularly in the preschool years)
• My child’s greatest problem is to
change behavior.
• If he can just make a higher grade…
• If she could just have more friends…
While it is good to make it through another
day and while behavior, grades, and friends
do matter, 3 John 4 gives one of the greatest
goals any Christian parent can hold: “I have
no greater joy than to hear that my children
walk in truth.”

This is a long-term goal—that your
children would set a lifelong direction of
walking in the truth.

By the grace of God, Terrie and I can
personally attest to the joy of having
children who not only walk with the Lord,
but are actively pursuing and serving Him.
We thank the Lord that all four of our adult
children are loving and serving the Lord
with their spouses.

What helps set the direction for your
children on the path of walking in the truth?
Here are a few things we’ve learned over the
years through our family life and through
counseling hundreds of other families.

I believe you should have fun with
your children. You should play games, have
family days, and talk about what’s going on
at school.

However, realize that your children don’t
just need you to be their friend. They need
you to be their parent. They need you to
be a spiritually nurturing authority in
their lives.

It should not be abnormal for you to talk
to your children about spiritual things—to
ask them what they learned in church, how
their walk with God is, how they’re doing in
resisting temptation. Ask your teen, “What
has God been teaching you lately?”
When I was in high school, my mom was
so good at this. She would come to my room in the evening while I was doing my homework and just
ask me about my day, tell me she was praying for me,
and sometimes share a Scripture verse with me. Those
moments—not so much individually, but accumulated—
made a profound impact on my life.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be
in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy
children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine
house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou
liest down, and when thou risest up.—Deuteronomy 6:6–7

Influence is a powerful force. Your children’s
friends can be a tremendous force—either for positive
or for negative. So make it your business to know who is
influencing them and what they are like.

When our children were still at home, I was a little bit
like an FBI agent when it came to who their friends were.
I wanted to know who was influencing my children and
how. So it mattered to me what their friends listened to,
talked about, thought was funny or cool, and (if I allowed
our children to go to their houses) what their homes
were like.

No children are perfect—not yours and not your
children’s friends. So the point isn’t that they can only
have perfect friends. The bottom line is simply that you do
not want your children around people or in environments
that are going to undermine the values that you’re
teaching them at home.

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a
companion of fools shall be destroyed.—Proverbs 13:20

Social media is often a window into a young
person’s heart and can be a place where they reveal very
private thoughts and even information that could hurt
them in the future.

If you allow your child to have social media accounts, you
need to be involved. You need to understand how it works,
what their privacy settings are, who they are connecting
with through it, and what they are saying.

The internet is one of the most dangerous places in the
world to allow your child to simply find their own way with
no parental oversight. (This is why there are two entire
chapters in Making Home Work on navigating through the
challenges of media.)

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the
Lord: walk as children of light…And have no fellowship with
the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.—
Ephesians 5:8, 11

Know your children’s teachers, Sunday school
teachers, youth pastor and workers, coaches, and anyone
who is an authority in their lives. And help your child get
to know them as well.

Invite them over for dinner, make effort to see them
at church, ask them specifically how your child is doing.
Children need a united front between their authorities.
Don’t allow your children to pit you against another
authority. If you ever have a concern regarding how one of
your child’s authorities is handling a situation, go directly
to that person and work out the difficulty between the
two of you. Also, be sure your children’s authorities always
know you are available for any concerns they have and that
you will listen to and believe what they tell you, even if it
is that your child is struggling in a way you did not see.

He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul:
but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
—Proverbs 15:32

The greatest gift you can give your children is a
good example. If what you tell them does not match what
you show them, they are likely to reject what you tell them.

No parent is perfect (and no child expects his parent to be
perfect). But every parent is an example. If you want your
child to love God, engage in the body life of the church,
develop character, respect authorities, and invest their lives
in eternal values, don’t leave it to the youth group to teach
them. Model these in your own life.

Children do what children see—and especially what they
see in their parents.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
—1 Corinthians 11:1

Parenting children can be difficult and is definitely
challenging. But in the difficult moments, look further than
the immediate problem in front of you to the long-range
goal of seeing your children walk in truth.
Ultimately, each person will make their own choice
regarding the direction they take for their life. As a parent,
make sure that what you are doing today contributes toward
directing your children to walk in truth…for a lifetime.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in
truth.—3 John 4

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