Teach Your Child to Fear God

10 October 2021 AM – Psalm 34:11 – Series – Scott Childs
Introduction: Scriptures identify wisdom as the principle thing. They say that wisdom is better than rubies, gold or silver. Yet, God tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10; Pr 9:10). In other words, we cannot get God’s wisdom without first fearing Him. In Psalm 34:11, the Psalmist desired to teach children the fear of the Lord. This is the duty of every parent, grandparent, Sunday school teacher, youth leader and Christian schoolteacher.
Transition: In this verse, God gives you three steps for teaching your child to fear God. For simplicity, I will refer to your child as “him”, but I mean, “him” or “her” as the case may be.
  1. Call Him to Come
a.         He must be near you.
1)         The word “come” is a command. To have a quality talk with your child, he must come to you and be near you.
2)         Though you should often have talks with your child, this is a specific time to call him near for a teaching lesson.
3)         The word “children” may refer to a son, grandson, child or a young person. This teaching particularly applies while the child is young, but can still be helpful in later years.
b.         He must not be distracted.
1)         You must call him away from all distractions. Years ago, Charles Spurgeon made this comment on this verse, “We must get them away, apart from toys and sports, and try to occupy their minds with better pursuits; for we cannot well teach them while their minds are full of other things.”
2)         That has never been truer than in our day. Scores of children are addicted to video and phone games. They waste away their lives on those useless activities.
3)         Call him away from all that.
2.        Tell Him to Listen
a.         Listening is key.
1)         To hearken is to listen obediently. It is a command.
2)         If the child has not learned to obey, this may be a challenge, but let him know that what you have to say is of utmost importance.
3)         Children are more likely to listen obediently to their parents if they enjoy good communication with them. This is a missing ingredient in many homes. It is missing because it takes much time to build close relationships. It takes his love, tenderness, a listening ear, never belittling them, empathy, care, being quick to forgive, being quick to confess when you have wronged them, and being a godly leader to develop quality communication with children. They must see you as their protector in whom they can safely confide. You cannot do this by trying to become their mate, but by being their stable, dependable, trustworthy mentor.
4)         I must admit, I struggled with this. It is not easy.
b.         He must value your words
1)         If you become that trusted mentor, your child will value your words.
2)         Living a consistent Christian life before him will build your respect.
3)         If he respects you, and you stress the urgent importance of your talk, he will listen.
3.        Teach Him How to Fear God
a.         You cannot teach something you do not know.
1)         What does it mean to fear God?
a)         “The fear of the Lord is a holy, reverent respect for God that causes us to take Him very, very seriously, realising He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and completely holds our lives, our universe, our judgment, and our eternal destiny in His hands.” Kendrick, “The Resolution for Men”, p. 117, Underline added
b)         “To fear the Lord is to seek to yield every area of one’s life to the Lord so that it will give Him the honour, admiration, and reverence He deserves as the Sovereign of the universe.” SKC
c)         Fearing God requires “A definite consciousness of God’s presence in our daily lives.” Dr David Capitz
d)         The better we know God and the closer we are to Him, the easier it will be to fear Him.
2)         When we truly fear the Lord, we will hate evil. (Proverbs 8:13) “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
3)         We will hate to displease the Lord in any way. (Proverbs 16:6) “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” Fearing God will help to give us victory over evil.
4)         When we do not fear the Lord, we lack wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
5)         When we fear God, we will trust His care. (Proverbs 15:16) “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
6)         When we fear God, that will be our focus all day long. (Proverbs 23:17) “Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
7)         Do you fear God? If the verses we just read do not describe your life, you lack the fear of the Lord.
b.         With effort, you can learning to fear the Lord.
1)         Fearing God is a choice. (Proverbs 1:29) “For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
2)         We must seek it carefully. (Proverbs 2:1-5) “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
3)         Learning to fear God will secure God’s blessings. (Psalms 128:1) “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
4)         Fearing the Lord is also health-giving. (Proverbs 3:7-8) “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
c.          Now, teach your child what you know from experience about the fear of the Lord.
1)         Teach him that God is eternal, all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing and above every other being. (1 Timothy 1:17) “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2)         Teach him that God is his Creator, Sovereign, and Judge.
a)         As Creator, God owns him.
b)         As Sovereign, God has all authority over him.
c)         As Judge, God will hold him accountable. Remind him of sin’s painful consequences.
3)         Teach him to take God very seriously. God is no joke.
4)         Teach him that God is constantly watching him (v.15-16).
5)         Teach him to respect God reverently and to worship Him.
6)         Teach him the way to be washed clean from his sins and to receive eternal life in heaven is through faith in Jesus alone. (Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
7)         Teach him that God blesses those who trust Him (v.7-8).
8)         Mentor him in the search for the fear of God in his own life as described in Proverbs 2:1-5.
9)         Most of all live the fear of the Lord before him. Teach him all that you know about fearing God and pray that God will use it in his life.
Conclusion: Whether you are a dad, mum, grandparent or a teacher, God has given you the opportunity and duty to teach the children under you the fear of the Lord. Living with a definite consciousness of God’s presences in our daily lives takes work. Passing the fear of the Lord on to the next generation takes even more work. Will you step up to the task? Will you make the effort? Will you ask God for His help? As long as you know the Lord as your Saviour, it is within your reach. You can do it. If you do not know the Lord, come to Him today. I would be happy to show you how.
Song: I Surrender All – 394