Three R’s Of Child-Rearing

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, Dec. 3, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia


Scripture Reading: Proverbs 22:6-15

Text: Proverbs 22:6

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

Introduction: Someone has said that a young preacher spends 20 years telling adults where THEY went wrong in rearing their children. After that, he spends the next 20 years wondering where HE went wrong with his OWN kids!

Prov. 22:6 is one of the least-believed verses of the Bible by Christian parents. Most of them who do not believe it do not see their children stay in the will of the Lord when they get old.

Prov. 22:6 is one of the least-PRACTICED verses of the Bible by Christian parents. Most of them who do not practice it do not see their children stay in the will of the Lord when they get old. Those who DO, without properly training their children, enjoyed the grace of God moving in the lives of their children. They did not obtain the result by obeying the scriptures as Christian parents should.

My first child was born in 1973. My second child was born in 1978. I believe the same thing now that I believed about child-rearing when my children were born. I STILL believe that Prov. 22:6 is a PROMISE.

The catch is, NO ONE has ever done a perfect job in training up a child in the way he should go. However, to the degree that parents PRACTICE Prov. 22:6, it WILL WORK.

What I’m going to give you tonight are not actually just three R’s of child-rearing. I’m going to give you 3 R’s, and each of those R’s will be subdivided into 3 R’s. So I guess we will have really 9 R’s.


Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

A. There is a rebellious nature in children

  • 1. Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
  • 2. You do not have to teach children
    • a. to lie
    • b. to steal
    • c. to attack people
    • d. to complain
  • 3. They do that by nature!
  • 4. You have to teach them to do right!

B. There is a rotten environment for children

  • 1. Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
  • 2. This world’s entertainment is evil. Your children need to have their fun with Bible-believing, independent Baptist young people under their parents supervision!
  • 3. This world’s education system is evil. Your children need to be educated in a Bible-believing,independent Baptist atmosphere. The United States expelled God from their education system years ago. From that point on, theirs is a heathen school system. If you parents send your children to a heathen day care, a heathen kindergarten, a heathen elementary school, a heathen middle school, a heathen high school, and a heathen college, your children are going to get:
    • a. heathen concepts
    • b. a heathen conscience
    • c. heathen communications 1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
    • d. heathen companions – friends and future mates

C. There is a real devil pursuing your childre

  • 1. I warn you!
  • 2. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
  • 3. Satan wants what Jesus has, but for the wrong reason. He wants your children to deceive, destroy, and damn them!


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

A. Restraint

  • 1. 1 Samuel 3:12-13 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him 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.
  • 2. DAD must be the restrainer in the home!
  • 3. Restrain your children’s actions!
  • 4. Restrain your children’s attitudes!
  • 5. Restrain your children’s associations!
  • 6. Restrain your children’s appearance!

B. The rod

  • 1. The rod should be administered swiftly
    • Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
  • 2. The rod should be administered sufficiently
    • Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
  • 3. The rod should be administered scholastically – to teach.
    • Proverbs 29:15a The rod and reproof give wisdom:

Have yourself and the child under control. No chasing, no wrestling, no jumping.

C. Reproof

  • 1. Reproof is instruction from a negative viewpoint. It points out the error and its consequences.


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

A. A redeemed soul

  • 1. Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

B. A righteous life

  • 1. Prov. 22:15

C. A rejoicing parent

  • 1. Proverbs 23:15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
  • 2. Proverbs 29:17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
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