培育孩子的敬虔特质 (Developing Godly Qualities in Our Children)

By Randy Alcorn January 15, 2019

神要我们培育孩子具有什么样的特质呢?不需要猜测,因为圣经明确地告诉我们了:“世人哪,耶和华已指示你何为善。祂向你所要的是什么呢?只要你行公义,好怜悯,存谦卑的心,与你的神同行。”(弥迦书6:8),这三点要求是我们评估孩子品格发展的根据。

1.我的孩子在学习行公义吗?也就是说,我的孩子是否会以公平诚实对待他人,并且尊重、关怀,也为弱势、易受攻击、被欺压的人挺身而出?(还是他们在道德和正直的标准上妥协,当那些人——神说我们该为他们发声的——受到社会不公平的待遇时,默然的接受?)

2.我的孩子在学习怜悯人吗?也就是说,在家里、学校、社区、社会、以及世界上,他/她能敏锐的注意到在身体或灵命上有需要的人吗?并且以爱和怜悯向他们伸出援手?(还是,他们在自己的小圈子里,冷落那些不够酷的人;或者,完全专注在自己的活动、兴趣、和拥有的东西上,对身边受伤害的人视而不见,也不关心?)

3. 我的孩子在学习谦卑的与神同行吗?也就是说,他们有跟神有亲密的关系,每天有固定的时间是分别献给神,谦卑的认定神是主人、他是仆人,服事神、也服事他人吗?(还是说,他们忙到没有时间亲近神?或者过于高傲、自满,不知道他们迫切需要神的帮助,做真正值得做的事?)

教导我们的孩子真理,绝对是必要的,但还不够。生命的坚固根基不在于听到神的话,而是要行出来(马7:24-27)。身为父母,我们必须教导他们神的真理,在应用与顺服上以身作则。必须花时间亲近神的真理,要以我们自己花时间亲近神来示范;基督的赦罪真理,必须借着我们在家里寻求原谅、又原谅人来表明;务要传讲福音的真理,只能透过我们致力传福音来示范;身为父母,我们口中所坚信的,要以勇气与敬虔做出榜样,否则,我们所大声疾呼的,他们一句也听不进去。有的时候,我们的孩子不会听我们所说的话,但却很会模仿我们。

如果父母只在嘴上教导真理,在公义、敬虔、智慧、和勇气上没有以身作则,他们将学会嘲笑、轻谬、或侮慢真理,成为悖逆的人(拒绝真理),挂名的基督徒(表面承认真理,却效法世界而活),或成为律法主义者(把真理当成一套审判他人的规条)。

知道如何把真理用在每天的生活处境中是智慧的。圣经里有一本书,是一位孩子的父母为他写的,特别为帮助他做智慧的、能建立品德的决定,这本书就是《箴言》。研读、讨论、和应用箴言应该是我们训练孩子的主要部分,它包含了数以百计的、实用的、道德的生活指南;它不止教导什么是正确的和错误的,还教导了什么是正确的并且是智慧的,以及错误的而且是愚昧的;这为孩子——也为父母——提供了活出公义的双重动力。

在晚餐桌上,读一句、或一段箴言,专注于其中的某个真理的经文,然后要你的孩子试试用他们自己的话说出来,再想一个确实的应用例子、或解说;全家人一起探讨它的真义,然后要求每个人在接下去的二十四小时之内,确实的行出这个真理,然后告诉家人他(她)是怎样实践的。他们的分辨能力和运用的技巧会在操练中快速发展,而他们爱所活出的真理、与爱他们所事奉的神的心,也会一同增长。

跑完这场竞赛,要把棒子交下去,用关爱和热情交给你的儿女和孙儿女,好在尽头——也是在神面前的新生活的起头——我们,和他们,将会听祂说:“好,你这又忠心又良善的仆人!

“你要尽心,尽性,尽力爱耶和华你的神。我今日所吩咐你的话都要记在心上,也要殷勤教训你的儿女。无论你坐在家里,行在路上,躺下,起来,都要谈论。”

——申命记6:5-7

翻译:丽文;

校译:胡天津。


Developing Godly Qualities in Our Children

What qualities does God want us to develop in our children? No need to guess. Scripture tells us specifically: “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to have mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). These three requirements are a basis for evaluating our children’s character development:

1. Are my children learning to act justly? That is, to deal honestly and fairly with others, and to respect, care for and intervene on behalf of the weak, vulnerable and oppressed? (Or are they compromising in matters of morals and integrity, and passively accepting society’s mistreatment of those for whom God says we should speak up?)

2. Are my children learning to be merciful? That is, to discern with sensitivity the personal and spiritual needs of others in family, school, community, society and world, and reach out to them in love and compassion? (Or are they part of a clique that snubs the non-cool, or so absorbed in their own activities, interests and possessions that they don’t see or care about the hurting people around them?)

3. Are my children learning to walk humbly with their God? That is, to know Him personally, to have a consistent daily time devoted only to Him, and to exercise a humility that recognizes His lordship and their servanthood for Him and others? (Or are they too busy to spend time with God, and too self-proud and self-sufficient to realize they desperately need God’s help to do all that is worth doing?)

Teaching our children the truth is absolutely necessary, but it is not sufficient. The solid foundation for a life is not just hearing the words of God, but doing them (Matthew 7:24-27). By our own example as their parents, we must teach our children God’s truth, demonstrating it in application and obedience. The truth that time must be spent with God must be demonstrated by the time we spend with God. The truth about Christ’s forgiveness must be shown as we seek and grant forgiveness in our home. The truth that evangelism is important must be demonstrated by our efforts in evangelism. As parents, we must model our stated convictions with courage and devotion. Otherwise what we do will speak so loudly they won’t hear a word we’re saying. Sometimes our children will fail to listen to us. Seldom will they fail to imitate us.

If parents teach children truth with their mouths, without setting the example of righteousness, devotion, wisdom and courage, then children will learn to scorn, disregard or abuse the truth. They will end up as rebels (rejecting the truth), nominal Christians (superficially recognizing the truth, but living like the world) or legalists (treating the truth as a sterile set of rules by which to pass judgment on others).

Wisdom is the ability to skillfully apply truth to the situations of daily life. There is one book of Scripture written for a child by his parent, specifically designed to help him make wise and character-building decisions. That book is Proverbs. The study, discussion and application of Proverbs should be a central part of training our children. It is filled with hundreds of practical moral guidelines for living life. It teaches not only what is right and wrong, but shows that what is right is also smart, and what is wrong is also stupid. This provides a double motivation for our children—and their parents—to live righteously.

At the dinner table, read a verse or passage in Proverbs focusing on a central truth. Then ask your children to try to put it in their own words, and come up with a specific application or illustration of it. Discover what it means as a family. Then ask each person to actually apply this truth within the next twenty-four hours and report back to the family what he or she did. Their discernment and skill in application will dramatically develop with practice—as will their love for the truth they are living, and the Lord they are serving.

Run the race. Don’t drop the baton. Pass it on with care and enthusiasm to your children and grandchildren. So that at the end of the course, at the beginning of the wonderful new life in the presence of God, we—and they—will hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when your get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

Photo by Jake To on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of fifty-some books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries