Text: 1 Corinthians 4:14-17
Memory verse:
”Therefore I urge you, imitate me.“
‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Charles H. Spurgeon speaking on one of the most frequently referenced scriptures on child training, that is Proverbs 22:6, said, “Train up a child in the way he should go – but be sure you go that way yourself”. Hypocrisy of fathers is the best way to short circuit a child’s spiritual journey.
Unfortunately, children are little hypocrisy detectors. Yes, children may be silenced now so that they don’t say anything about what their parents are doing but it will definitely show up in their behaviour later. Children are social beings, as they learn better through observation than through verbal instructions. They may fail to do what you say but they won’t fail to do what you do. No matter how much you may try to teach your children, they may not likely follow the teachings if they see you doing the opposite. “Do as I say” has to be complemented with “Do as I do.” Clarence Kelland quipped, “My father didn’t tell me how to live, he lived and let me watch him do it.” Wow! You can’t teach them to fear God when they see irreverence for God in your words and deeds. If you want them to love, they have to see you express that love first to their mother. In fact, John Wooden described loving their mother as “The best thing a father can do for his children”. If you want them to be submissive, do you also submit to others and the authorities of the church and your organization? If you want them to pray, do they frequently see you in personal communion with God or do you sleep at home during prayer meetings or just ignore it? The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray having seen Him many times in prayer (Luke 11:1). If you want them to be diligent, let them see you exhibiting diligence in life and business.
Proverbs 20:7 says, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.“ ‭‭ The NLT says, ”The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them”. A man of integrity is one who does what he says. He doesn’t have a double life, one life in church and one life at home! You see, the godly man who lives in his integrity secures a great inheritance for his children.
Friends, Paul said to his children in our text, “I’m not, you know, asking you to do anything I’m not already doing myself.” (1 Cor 4:16 MSG). As a father, can you say such to your children? J. C. Ryle is right, “think not your children will practise what they do not see you do.”

Prayer points
1. Pray for grace for yourself as a father or for all men, to live as godly examples for their children.
2. Pray that God will cover up in His grace for all children from faulty and ungodly homes.

Prayer points
1. I secure a great inheritance for my children when I live godly and in integrity.
2. One of the causes of parental failure in child training is hypocrisy of fathers.

Contact: pastor@thf.org.ng