Basic Principles

Fundamentals to build upon

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” — Elizabeth Stone

Memory verse:

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.

The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.

The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous. Ps 19:7-9 - NIV

This week’s principle: There is not one principle but several.
Some basic biblical principles:


How to Communicate love (and what are “love-languages”):

Just as cultures communicate through different languages and behaviors, we all have different ways of best communicating and receiving love. As husbands & wives benefit from knowing each other’s “language” preferences, we should also seek to know our children’s. 5 types by Gary Chapman:

There are many forums out there to help you find out your love language. (;;; ) It is useful to know both your own and your spouse’s, then also your children’s language. We often try to show love for others using our love language, but this may not translate well to the other person if their language is something completely different. Knowing their language allows us to love them more like they would choose to be loved. That said, we should love in every capacity, not limited to one or two. And we are commanded to love, even when our “love language” is not being spoken.

Small children all like gifts, hugs, and time, but around age 7 (Ezzo), a particular language should be evident as their favorite. These appear to be God-given personality traits and not learned priorities. To best love someone, we need to know them—how they appreciate being loved, what ministers to them (not us), why our efforts sometimes appear to be unappreciated and we misunderstand the response. It is often because we do not “push the right buttons.”
Study 1 Cor 13 in order to better understand what love is and is not. Love often, especially as a parent, entails actions that may be painful to our children but are, truly, loving actions. Just as God disciplines us out of love, we will sometimes cause pain for the sake of love when we discipline.


It is essential that they fear parental wrath just as we fear God’s.

Fear is a very rational, natural, and, very frequently, helpful response to actions by those with greater power, those in authority. Your children should literally fear your wrath—not your hand, not your hug, not your person, but your wrath. Consider the following examples:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
Ps 111:10

They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” ESV Lk 5:7-8

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. ESV (Also, the fear of the Gerasenes when the evil spirit left the man, etc.) Lk 8:46

Jesus showed love for the Pharisees when he called them to task. He would have lacked love if he did not confront their sin and pride. He gave them what they needed to hear, even if it was unpleasant. It should be very clear to our children who is in authority. They should not fear our hand, our hugs, our love, etc., but know that we have the authority and mandate to show wrath when biblically indicated.

TRUST: Trust in the family relationship is constant and essential. Trust for most children towards parents is easy—they trust the persons who feed them, hug them, dress them, give them shelter. As they grow older, the trust begins to change as life is more complicated—they trust those who are consistent, who do not lie or mislead, those by whom they feel fully loved. We must make sure that our children have no reason to doubt us—the world will have enough disappointment as it is.

Mandates for parents to maintain trust:

Issues of Conscience

Conscience is a God-given moral faculty of man. It is referred to as the “heart” (860 times) in the Old Testament and conscience in the New (19 times). 1 Tim 4:2 states that our consciences can be seared and made defective, callused, unresponsive. The conscience appears to have 2 basic parts, one which is primary (instinctive) and common to all man, and the other which is based on what is learned about God (moral).

The primary conscience is noted in Romans chapters one & two.

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. Rom 1:18-20 - NLT

Even when Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong. They demonstrate that God’s law is written within them, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right. Rom 2:14-15 - NLT

The moral conscience is learned or trainable and develops over time. It is learned by studying the Word of God. Teach first the behavior, then the moral behind it.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Ps 119:11 - NIV

Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. Job 22:22- NIV

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty. Jer 15:16 - NIV

We learn morals as children from what we see our parents do, from what they say, and from the rest of the world around us. It is quite common and easy to wrongly train a child. It is imperative to be who we know God wants us to be and to teach our children from scripture what is right and moral. Ezzo divides the discussion of moral conscience into 4 parts: the moral warehouse, the 4 activities of the conscience, the moral search, and positive and prohibitive training.


  1. Can you tell us about an experience when you tried to show love to someone in your love language (or vice-versa) and they did not appreciate it?
  2. What characteristics of a person enable you to trust them? Do you incorporate these into your parenting?
  3. Is your family a safe place to try and fail? Where others know and care about you and your hopes & dreams?
  4. What are some specific ways you can encourage your child in their current situation?
  5. Can you remember a time when your parent hurt you by a harsh answer? How can you prevent yourself from doing this?
  6. Can you think of some ways your parents used negative and positive training?


Find out your, your spouse’s, and your children’s love language this week, and try loving them in that fashion. Have fun with it! Tell us your results. Write the languages down where you can save them and refer to them later.

“You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back.” — William D. Tammeus