Genesis 18:19a For I know him [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment;

I Samuel 3:13 For I have told him [Eli] that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

I Kings 1:6a And his [Adonijah’s] father [David] had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

31:27 She [the virtuous woman] looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

I Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre: but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.


MEMORY VERSE: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.—Proverbs 22:6


CENTRAL THOUGHT: Order and discipline are treasures in a godly home. God is a God of order, not chaos. His Word teaches that parents are to bring their children into subjection wisely, without discouraging or angering them, but nurturing them and bringing them to Christ.



Proverbs 29:15 “Rod”: staff used for chastisement. “Reproof”: correction; rebuke; reasoning. “A child left to himself”: to wander free as he wills. The same word is used referring to the wild ass in Job 39:5.

31:27 “She looketh well”: to keep watch; to lean forward and peer into the distance; observe; spy. “She eateth not the bread of idleness”: or sluggishness and indolence. Rather, she eats bread won by active labor and conscientious diligence.

Ephesians 6:4 “Provoke. . .to wrath”: exasperate; rouse to anger. “Nurture”: the training and education of children, which includes cultivation of mind and morals, increase of virtues, and development to full maturity. “Admonition”: warning; exhortation; counsel.

I Timothy 3:2 “Apt to teach”: able and skillful in teaching and having the virtue which renders one teachable; docile.

3 “Striker”: a bully; ready with a blow; quarrelsome; contentious. “Not a brawler”: peaceable, abstaining from fighting, not contentious.

4 “With all gravity”: with honor and dignity; reverent modesty on the part of the children.—Alford. Keeping a good decorum in his family.—Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

5:14 “Give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully”: give no starting point or opportunity for those who resist and oppose to revile, insult, or slander the Church of God.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train”: initiate, dedicate, or early instruct; from a verb meaning to put something into the mouth; to rub the palate, and cause to swallow. The Hebrew literally is, initiate a child in accordance with his way, considering his nature, faculties and temperament. Also, according to his future calling or station, educate him until it becomes second nature, and it will bear fruit all his life long. This also implies training in the right way—the path of obedience—from the very first, from infancy.—Taken from Pulpit Commentary.




The Lord, personally visiting in the home of Abraham prior to sending judgement upon Sodom, seemed to confer with the two heavenly beings who accompanied Him on this mission, and witnessed to them that He knew Abraham (He later called him friend), would retain the command of his household to the keeping of the way and judgment of the Lord. Afterward this was proven by the obedience of Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac at God’s command. The willingness of Isaac to comply and the absence of resistance from Sarah in this radical move point to the reverence and submission they had toward Abraham.

Samuel, early trained in obedience and servanthood by his mother, Hannah, was given the difficult mission of carrying God’s message to Eli concerning the rebellion of his two sons. These men had practiced open fornication, violence and greed right in the Lord’s sanctuary. Eli had weakly remonstrated, but had not the courage nor the respect of his sons to stop the wickedness. The Lord speaking through Samuel prophesied the message of doom and judgment upon Eli’s household.

David’s failure in the training of Adonijah had such grievous results. Adonijah’s treachery was not the only tragic event involving David’s family after his sin with Bathsheba. The disgraceful misconduct and death of Amnon and the public mockery, lewdness and conspiracy, and later gruesome death of Absalom brought unspeakable grief and heartache to the man who had sought after God’s heart in his younger years. Although he was graciously forgiven by God, there were still painful consequences to violating the laws of God, which he reaped until his death. His final song, remorseful yet triumphant in the mercy and grace of God, can be found in II Samuel 23:1-7.

The verses in Proverbs offer valuable insights: Early instruction; careful and constant observation and study of each child; diligent administration of the rod; and loving, wise, firm reproof are ways Wisdom has laid out for the training up of children.

The New Testament instructions give a picture of the kind of order God requires in the homes of men and women of God.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. First Things First: Discuss the problem of the training and discipline of children when the character of the parent demonstrates lack of self-control and discipline.
  2. Painful Reaping: What is the result of the lack of training in the early years?
  3. A Proper Example: Faithfulness in maintaining order and honor in the home prepares aperson for what later responsibilities?




I marvel at the reliability of God’s Word as it applies to the home. Although we are limited in this lesson by time and space, the basic principles laid out here are tested and proven, and when diligently applied, will bring about peace and rest. (Proverbs 29:17)

Consistent, loving discipline is an act of faith and obedience on the part of the parent. We may not see immediate results. We sow the good seeds and refuse to be weary in well doing, believing and trusting that when we have done our best, God will do His part.

Left to themselves, neglected, not having received close observation and personal training, children do not naturally walk in God’s ways. God entrusts us with these arrows, misshapen and bent by a stubborn sinful nature, having characters with both strengths and weaknesses. Our task is to study and know the particular strengths and weaknesses of each child and train accordingly; minimize the weaknesses and maximize the strengths, and present back to God—a profit. Of course, the only way to fully accomplish that task is to make them wise unto salvation (I Timothy 3:15), and then pray they choose the ways of the Lord.

The underlying principle is that our personal lives must be in order—under submission to God—if we are to bring our children into submission. Our lack of obedience, temperance or personal discipline always reflects itself in the lives of our children. The outcome is a spiritual handicap that keeps us from being useful in the work of the Lord and to souls around us.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Although this lesson is for both fathers and mothers, I cannot help but recall a poem Bro. Ostis Wilson read our congregation every mother’s day when I was a young person. It essentially dealt with discipline in the home and was entitled, “The Meanest Mother.”  I would sit enthralled as he read about the mother who made her children eat cereal, eggs, or toast for breakfast while other children got to eat candy. This mother insisted on knowing where her children were at all times and then expected them to be home exactly when they said they would – and not one minute later. These children had to bathe and don clean clothes every day, and could not sleep till noon like their friends. This mother actually had the audacity to punish her children’s disobediences. The last line reads this way: “She ‘forced’ us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults. Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean. Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.”

The truth is, raising children and maintaining discipline and order in the home is one of the most challenging jobs a father and mother will ever face. Consistently day-in-and-day-out going to “battle” with the little ones entrusted into our care – knowing exactly how and when to balance love and discipline is hard, mainly because it requires us to be disciplined, as well. Fortunately, children do come with manuals – the Bible, but we cannot raise them without God’s wisdom and His help. While we will not ever be “perfect parents” we should strive, by God’s grace, to discipline and order our homes so that when we look back – regardless of what choices the children themselves make – we can say we did the best we knew how to do.

–Sis. Julie Elwell