Children need heavy doses of rebuke and praise. Sometimes the parent should do this one-on-one. Elsewhere he should reprove and honor publicly. I’d like to argue that this latter category is best done at the dinner table or, even better, at Family Worship.
Reams of Rebuke
We assign the word “foolish” to terms like grin, mistake, idea or decision. Scripture appoints the word to “child”. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (Pr 22:15). Folly is part of a child’s nature. Foolishness fills a youngster’s heart the way stars fill the sky. The darker the sin, the easier to see the folly. But even when the child is at his cutest and best behaved, foolhardiness—though hidden—is still there, like stars on a sunny day. Adam put it there (Ps 51:5). Special grace and common grace have yet to chisel off the edges.
So parents should expect to rebuke their children often, especially when they are young and especially from the lips of Dad (Pr 13:1). It is a child’s natural inclination to say and do stupid things. I remember telling my wife that if we tallied up for the day all the actions of one of our young children, probably 90% of them would be wrong. This is why parenting is such hard work. This is why millennials are having pets instead of children. You can put newspaper down for puppies. It doesn’t work as well for kids. Continue reading