Children also need to be nourished by God’s truth

Published 11:00 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: My husband and I have watched our older siblings raise rebellious children, bringing great turmoil to our family and to their marriages. This has caused us reluctance to start a family. Apart from the numerous psychology books, what wisdom can we seek for raising children to be kind and respectful? – F.P.


Dear F.P.: Children are dependent upon parents for many things, but one of the most important things they need is sound leadership from mom or dad – hopefully both. The duty of parents is to correct and nurture children. Nurturing can be difficult and can bring hardship but it is worth the effort.

Children also need to be nourished by God’s truth. There are many examples in the Bible about people seeking happiness. King Solomon was convinced he knew how to find happiness – and with his vast resources, he was able to pursue it. Wealth, fame, pleasure, power, lavish houses, a reputation for wisdom – you name it, King Solomon had it. Yet after gaining everything he had ever wanted, he reluctantly concluded that his life was still empty and without meaning. His search for lasting happiness had failed; his soul was empty.

A child is too young to have enough wisdom to recognize true happiness as they pursue it, so they must be led. Teaching children the Scripture gives them foundation – replacing what the world teaches with the things of God. Children often respond to illustrations. Children should be taught that there are consequences of rebelling against those who love and cherish them.

Imagine the wisest human king saying that he denied himself nothing but learned that all he achieved was meaningless (see Ecclesiastes 2:10-11). We must all learn from these lessons that have stood the test of time.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)