What is it that you desire for your kids and pray for in their lives? One of the greatest things to pray for is that your children will learn to fear the Lord.
Teaching your children to fear the Lord is an essential role for parents. With God’s Word planted in their minds and the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, you can see many wonderful fruits come about when they have learned to revere the Lord above all.
Pray and ask the God to give your children a biblical fear of the Lord. Teach them what it means and how to live it out.
Here’s are the kinds of things the Bible says fear of the Lord leads to, through the work of the Holy Spirit:
- Salvation – Psalm 85:9
- Turning From Evil – Proverbs 16:6
- Knowing God’s will – Psalm 25:12
- Wisdom – Proverbs 9:10
- Supplied needs – Psalm 34:9
- Health – Proverbs 3:7,8
- Long life – Proverbs 10:27
- Happiness – Proverbs 28:14
- Prosperity – Psalm 128:1-4
- Riches, honor, & life – Proverbs 22:4
- Protection – Psalm 34:7
- Fulfilled desires – Psalm 145:19
Those who fear the Lord are on a path that draws near to God and the blessings of living for Christ. It is a worthy path to pursue!
To teach your children the fear of the Lord you need to understand what it means.
- The fear of God is an attitude of respect. It is a response of reverence and wonder for who God is and a desire to obey him.
- It is a continual awareness that you are in the presence of a holy, just, and almighty God, and that every motive, thought, word, and action is open before Him and will be judged by Him.
- It is realizing that you are weak and sinful and that your sin deserves his wrath. While those who have put their faith in Jesus as their Savior have been justified before God and are no longer condemned, we still struggle with sins that are abhorrent to God.
- The “fear” we’re talking about here isn’t like being scared of a monster. It’s also not like people cowering timidly before a tyrant, hoping they don’t accidentally incur his wrath. Instead, the fear that brings God pleasure is when we give God the proper high and exalted view, revering him above all else and striving to obey him with the help of the Holy Spirit.
In Deuteronomy 4:10 we see the plan God has for us to learn to fear Him, then teach our children the fear of the Lord.
Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they my learn to fear Me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.
- We (the parents) hear His words.
- We learn to fear Him.
- We teach it to our children
As parents, we hear His Words and learn to fear Him, then we teach it to our children. How do we go about that?
How to Teach Children Fear of the Lord
Here are some practical things we need to teach our children that will help them know and understand the fear of the Lord.
First of all, we learn more about God.
Knowing God’s nature and character deepens our understanding and gives us a proper view of who He is and who we are in relationship to Him. It shows us why He is worthy of our fear and adoration.
Being a student of God’s Word is how we learn more about Him. A great place to start is to study the attributes of God. God is love, holy, eternal, all-knowing, merciful, just, and more.
Use this free 12-day Attributes of God devotion with activities! It’s a part of the All About God unit of the Sound Words for Kids: Lessons in Theology curriculum.
Second, we strive to obey Him with the help of the Holy Spirit.
When we have a proper fear of the Lord, it is evident in how we live our lives. We are obedient and respectful to him, worship him in truth, and submit to his instruction and discipline.
Psalm 34 is an excellent place to start in teaching your children obedience to God in this way. Verse 11 says: “Come ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”
1. Keep your tongue from evil; speak good. (verse 13)
Teach your children the importance of not speaking evil of others, or being a talebearer. Praise them for telling you good about others.
2. Speak the truth. (verse 13)
We don’t have to teach our kids to lie; they are born speaking lies. (Psalm 58:3) However, we DO need to teach them to speak the truth. Make it EASY for them to be honest. Don’t ask them in a loud angry voice if they did something they shouldn’t have, or they are are going to be afraid to tell the truth about it.
3. Depart from evil. (verse 14)
Society often laughs at sin and what is evil; we need to teach our kids to hate evil, as God does. “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” Proverbs 8:13
4. Do good. (verse 14)
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17 Teach your kids to do good to others, even if they treat them wrong; also teach them to do what they know is right (or good) to do.
5. Seek peace and pursue it. (verse 14)
Teach your kids to be peacemakers! Encourage them that it is important to overlook offenses, and not stir up strife. Take advantage of those siblings squabbles and address the heart issue, while encouraging them to strive for peace.
6. Hate pride. “The fear of the Lord is to hate pride.” Proverbs 8:13
Pride is always a negative thing in the Bible. Teach your kids about the danger of pride, and what God says about it. Teach them to handle praise well, so that they won’t get proud.
For example, after they have done something like play a special piano solo for the offertory, teach them to acknowledge their teacher who helped them learn to play, or their parents who made them practice diligently. We can feel satisfied in work well done, but acknowledging that it is all a blessing and gift from God is the essential attitude of the humble person.
7. Teach THEM to study God’s words through a daily personal time.
“And he shall read therein all the days of his life that he may learn to fear the Lord His God.” Deuteronomy 17:19
Start when your kids are young, and help them develop the habit of daily spending time reading God’s Word. Don’t let this be something that gets pushed aside. (You might enjoy these Bible reading plans for children from Character Corner.)
Daily fellowship maintains the fear of the Lord, and is God’s design for keeping us from sin. “Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:7
Determine to make it a priority to teach your children these things so they will learn to fear the Lord.
“Blessed is EVERY ONE that feareth the Lord.” Psalm 128:1
Pray for your children, dear moms — for their repentance and salvation. Pray that they would fear the Lord and experience the close relationship with Him that brings so many blessings. May He bring about His purposes in their lives! ❤️
[Resource: One-Year Bile Reading Plans for Kids]
[Resource: Prayer & Devotion Printable Packs]
Kathie Morrissey co-writes this post along with Proverbial Homemaker owner, Tauna Meyer. Kathy is the mother of 8 children, wife to Alan for 39 years, and a committed homeschooling mom of 31 years. She is the author of two popular character curriculums, and the founder of The Character Corner, where she loves to blog about parenting, family life, homeschooling, and life in general. You can also find daily encouragement on her Facebook page.