Family Studies

Family Studies

Principles to be Taught Youth - Part 4

Series: Training a Child (Lessons from Proverbs)


1.  Adonijah, the son of King David sought to take over the kingship.  1 Kings 1:6 says, “His father had never crossed him at any time by asking, ‘Why have you done so?’” 2.  First Samuel 2 describes how Eli’s sons, now priests, acted greedily in their dealings with the people even committing sexual immorality with the women who served at the tabernacle.  Eli’s rebuke was weak (1 Sam. 2:23-24).  God asked him, “Why do you honor your sons above Me?” 3.  Truth and right must be upheld.  Parents must hold the line!  Even on children who are older.   Laxity when they are very young often calls for forceful discipline when they are older.  This is not easy. 4.  When I refer to forceful discipline I am not talking necessarily about physical force.  I am talking about your conviction and unswerving commitment to appropriate behavior. 5.  At the recent state of the union address Democrats and Republicans opponents sat together.  One of them said, “It is not about where you sit, but where you stand.” 6.  And this is true regarding the discipline of our children. 7.  Three things . . .

a.  We must take a stand.  And being gracious is not about being wishy-washy.

b.  We must stand on right behavior.

c.  We must do so uncompromisingly.  Some parents have such low self-esteem that they are afraid their children won’t like them if they oppose their behavior.  We cannot permit such personal psychology to allow us to honor our children above the Lord.

8.  This leads us to three principles from Proverbs to be taught youth.


I.  We need to teach youth forthrightness and we cannot teach forthrightness if we are not forthright (Prov. 16:30).

A.  What does it mean to be forthright?  It means to be direct and outspoken; frank and unswerving; straightforward.  The person who is being forthright is not apologetic and timid.  They are not hesitant and secretive.  They are open with nothing to hide.

B.  Prov. 16:30 refers to one who winks his eyes.  He is communicating in a subtle way devising perverse things.  The compressing of lips suggests not communicating in order to bring evil to pass.  This is an attempt to not reveal too much in order to maintain an advantage.

1.  The wink is designed to hide.  Parents my wink at the sins of their children so as to overlook them when rebuke is in order.  “I just don’t want to know about what they are doing.”  Me neither, but then that is the easy way and it does not allow for discipline.

2.  They may compress their lips, not speaking out against evil so that there is no risk to the relationship.

3.  Being a parent is not about being popular.  It is about loving so that you discipline (Prov. 3:11-12; Heb. 12:4).

4.  Does not mean you must be hostile and rude, but it does necessitate forthrightness.

II.  We need to teach youth restraint and we cannot teach restraint without actually restraining them (Prov. 13:1).

A.  Restraint can come through positive instruction.

1.  Most of the book of Proverbs is designed with this in mind.

2.  Most of Scripture is designed from this perspective.

B.  Sometimes restraint comes through the rebuke of misbehavior (13:1b).  Scripture teaches this in various contexts.

1.  The immoral man of 1 Cor. 5 was to be removed from their midst, delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit might be saved.

a.  “Am I to do this with son or daughter?”  Very difficult, but maybe.

b.  Some use the passage as a tool to get others to live up to their expectations of them generally:  “Believe everything I believe or else.”   This is not the intent, but where gross sin is involved this passage does not allow for overlooking it.  Even here there may be situations where family responsibility takes precedence, but that does not mean sin is overlooked.

2.  Even elders who continue in sin are to be rebuked (1 Tim. 5:20).

3.  Scripture is for reproof, correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).

C.  It is not necessary that we become a nuisance to those who choose to do wrong as adults.

D.  Begin early to teach restraint.  Lack of restraint in childhood leads to a lack of restraint as children get older.  Let misbehavior go unrestrained in the very young and it is difficult to control later (17:14).

III.  We need to teach youth righteousness and we cannot be effective without holding the line and demanding right behavior (12:21, 28; 14:34).

A.  People may become unrighteous because of a lack of philosophical training.  They are not trained to have a strong sense of direction about life.  Instruction in the way of the Lord is critical.  Poor philosophical starting points result in unrighteousness (Cf. Rom. 1:18ff).

B.  Poor coping strategies lead to unrighteousness.  People suffer all kinds of difficulties in life:  grief, loneliness, pain (physical, emotional, relational) and then treat these with unrighteous behaviors.  Ex.:  alcohol, drugs, sex, gang relationships

C.  We need to teach from the right philosophical starting point, work to protect young people from various forms of abuse and help them to develop sound coping strategies.

1.  It is better to cultivate good relationships to meet our social needs than cultivating those that lead to unrighteousness.

2.  It is better to learn to directly address our problems rather than medicating them in some way or creating some mechanism for a brief escape that leads to further unrighteousness and out of control behavior.


1.  Forthrightness.  Restraint.  Righteousness.  Fundamental principles that need to be taught youth. 2.  Cannot be taught if we are not forthright with them, if we do not work to restrain them with reproof, holding the line and even demanding right behavior.
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