Children are a gift from Jehovah. He expects parents to take good care of that gift. Jehovah provides wise advice that can help parents to do so. His advice can also help children to have a share in making family life a success.
1. What advice does Jehovah give to parents?
Jehovah expects parents to love their children and to spend as much time as possible with them. He also wants parents to protect their children from harm and to use Bible principles as the basis for training them. (Proverbs 1:8) He tells fathers: “Go on bringing [your children] up in the . . . admonition of Jehovah.” (Read Ephesians 6:4.) Jehovah is pleased if parents follow his direction when raising their children and do not pass that responsibility on to someone else.
2. What advice does Jehovah give to children?
Jehovah instructs children: “Be obedient to your parents.” (Read Colossians 3:20.) When children respect and obey their parents, they make both Jehovah and their parents happy. (Proverbs 23:22-25) Jesus set a good example when he was a child. Although he was perfect, he obeyed and respected his parents.—Luke 2:51, 52.
3. How can you draw closer to God as a family?
If you are a parent, no doubt you want your children to love Jehovah as much as you do. How can you accomplish this goal? By doing what the Bible says: “You must inculcate [Jehovah’s words] in your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) To “inculcate” means to teach by repeating something. Likely, you know that you must often repeat something to your children so that they will remember it. This scripture means that you should look for regular opportunities to talk to your children about Jehovah. It is a good idea to set aside some time each week to worship as a family. If you do not have children, you will still benefit by taking time each week to study God’s Word.
Consider practical suggestions that contribute to a happy and secure family life.
4. Train your children with love
Training a child can be challenging. How can the Bible help? Read James 1:19, 20, and then discuss these questions:
How can parents show love when they communicate with their children?
Why should a parent never discipline his children when he is angry?*
5. Protect your children
To safeguard your children, it is crucial that you talk to each child about sex. This may feel awkward. Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the questions that follow.
Why is it a challenge for some parents to talk to their children about sex?
In what way have some parents explained sex to their children?
Some of the wicked people referred to in verse 13 sexually abuse children. Therefore, why is it important for parents to teach their children about sex and how to protect themselves from abusers?
6. Respect your parents
Why is it worthwhile for a young person to communicate respectfully with his parents?
How can a young person speak to his parents in a way that shows them honor?
Read Proverbs 1:8, and then discuss this question:
How should a young person react when his parents give him direction?
7. Worship Jehovah as a family
The families of Jehovah’s Witnesses set aside a specific time each week to worship together. What can this family worship be like? Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the questions that follow.
How can a family have a regular Family Worship program?
What can a parent do to make family worship practical and enjoyable?—See opening picture of this lesson.
What may make it a challenge for you to study together?
In ancient Israel, Jehovah expected families to talk regularly about the Scriptures. Read Deuteronomy 6:6, 7, and then discuss this question:
How can you apply this principle?
Ideas for family worship:
Prepare for congregation meetings.
Read and discuss a Bible account that your family will enjoy.
If you have young children, download or print an activity for children from jw.org.
If you have teenage children, discuss an article for teenagers on jw.org.
Act out a Bible story with your children.
Watch and discuss a video on jw.org.
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “The Bible is too complicated for children.”
What would you say?
Jehovah wants parents to love, train, and protect their children; children to respect and obey their parents; and families to worship him together.
How can parents train and protect their children?
How can children show honor to their parents?
What are the benefits of setting aside time each week to worship as a family?
In the Bible, “discipline” relates to instruction, guidance, and correction. It never means abuse or cruelty.—Proverbs 4:1.