Child Training Goals and Priorities


3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

Daniel 1:3-4


This outline is to be used with a table summarizing training goals (here)


The Text

  1. Ashpenaz was head of Babylon’s fast track management program for very select candidates.
  2. Genetic gifts … no blemishes and well favoured … are God’s choice we cannot truly alter.
  3. School learning … skillful, cunning, understanding … are His privileges and our diligence.
  4. Soft skills … ability to function in a king’s palace … are our opportunity and duty to learn.
  5. Potential … for further training by the Chaldeans … is only available for ambitious learners.
  6. Superiority far beyond his classmates is what Daniel had by his fear and love of Jehovah.
  7. Taken from the first slides of Great Men in Public …


Why the Study?

  1. To introduce and explain a simple table of goals and priorities for godly child training (here).
    1. The table is not exhaustive or perfect in any sense, but it is a good visual aid to consider.
    2. By what it includes and with what priority and what it excludes and ignores says much.
    3. Embrace the concepts introduced and perfect them by more Bible study of other material.
  2. Our children should exceed us in God’s goals; they should train their children to do the same.
    1. This requires two things – the proper goals and the right means to achieve those goals.
    2. Christians should by God’s grace, Spirit, and word obviously improve every generation.
    3. Why have average children by measures that are inferior and also dumbed down often?
  3. If you have children, and you were not forced, you should train them or be cruel and profane.
    1. God gave children with blank slates plus a divine library of inspired wisdom for success.
    2. Any day is an opportunity to form a child or youth into a high-performing Christian adult.
    3. Do not let anything or anyone move you from His goals, or you should not have children.
  4. Nothing … let me repeat … nothing will pull or push you to right priorities but God’s word.
    1. Pastors to fulfill their calling as Paul taught will teach all profitable topics (Ac 20:20,27).
    2. By church teaching, commendations, gatherings, and enthusiasm, we push God’s agenda.
    3. The world is wrong … Make Your Life Count …


What Final Goal?

  1. We want a vision of the great men and women of the Bible and not settle for less than them.
    1. God listed five special men – Noah, Job, Moses, Samuel, Daniel (Jer 15:1; Ezek 14:14).
    2. Hebrews 11 has great adults like Joseph, Ruth, David; and there are Esther, Timothy, etc.
    3. A church member with a college degree, or even financial success, is not the goal at all.
  2. We want exceptional adults given the conviction and truth and wisdom God has given to us.
    1. Which daughters will be virtuous and serving princesses everyone loves and glorify God?
    2. Which sons will be the noble and successful princes that lead and help in His kingdom?
    3. Daniel and his companions in the text above set our goal in all things outside acts of God.
    4. Cream rises, and it is not just natural ability, but God’s gifts leveraged by good training.
    5.  Awards, commendations, and praise for just participating are deceitful and destructive.
  3. The final goal, though only a full life lived well truly counts, is for adults at the age of 30.
    1. By 30 we know if they are good professionals, spouses, parents, church members, etc.
    2. We should not care much about 18, for they are still children or maybe youth at that age.
    3. Embrace the word trajectory rather than celebrate birthdays and passing school grades.
  4. We have two main goals for our children – love of God and love of others – success is both!
  5. We must not omit weightier matters of the law – all four columns are important (Matt 23:23).
  6. How do common goals and priorities arise … parents’ heads, the PTA, or from God’s word?
    1. The world wants to distract you, which is Satan’s plan to neglect all valuable outcomes.
    2. The world wants to distort you, which is Satan’s plan to confuse your goals and priorities.
    3. Distortions can put you as a parent or grandparent in one of various ditches for child ruin.
    4. Reading the Bible all day is RCC monasticism and not taught in the Bible for children.
    5. Emphasizing the world’s educational scope and sequence and sports will produce losers.
    6. Where do liberal arts classes fall? To pagans – first on the left; to winners – last on right.
    7. Social studies, psychology, literature, philosophy, history, etc. taught today are damning.
    8. Benjamin Spock damned a generation with his permissive ignorance and popular books.


What Sources?

  1. The Bible is an incredible divine library with all we need to maximize life here and hereafter.
    1. God ordered child training in both testaments, but He inspired king Solomon for details.
    2. Moses (De 6:4-9), Solomon (Pr 22:6,15; 29:15,17), Paul (Ep 6:4) all taught child training.
    3. God illustrated child training in both testaments by good and bad (I Sam 1:28; I Kgs 1:6).
  2. Philosophy, methods, or goals from other sources is wrong. Trust the Bible and hate all else.
    1. What you saw, heard, or learned from parents is irrelevant unless absolutely scriptural.
    2. What the world thinks is irrelevant unless scriptural; the Bible is practical and relevant.
    3. The world’s ideas get worse every year e.g. same-sex spouses, transgender children, etc.
  3. Stop and think about how practical the Bible is and how much it teaches for worldly success.
    1. Paul had a hard skill; he used it profitably as a transferable skill, tentmaking (Acts 18:3).
    2. Paul had soft skills like no other, which he displayed winning an angry man (Philemon).
    3. Hard skills are objective transferable skills; the Bible records men with them (Bezaleel).
    4. Getting ahead on the job requires soft skills, which is the largest part of book of Proverbs.
    5. Think of how Daniel 1:3-4 at the top of this outline fits with Proverbs 22:11; 16:13; etc.


What Hinders?

  1. Preconceived and deeply entrenched presumptions about educating and training children.
  2. Fatal assumptions that avoiding the public zoo means automatic improvement and success.
    1. Many homeschool as with a divine mandate, but they fail at many soft skills for success.
    2. Many pay huge sums for a Christian school H.S. diploma, but they also miss soft skills.
    3. It is a shame for parents to invest so much for academic training and miss greater needs.
  3. Parents often love their children with such narcissism and pride that they miss true measures.
    1. Children that make you smile, look pretty, get good grades, or wash dishes prove nothing.
    2. You cannot see your children accurately, for they already reflect and repeat your faults.
    3. Every parent is significantly imperfect, and your children are your genes, actions, ideas.
  4. Parental habits are damning … packrats beget packrats … moody critics beget moody critics.
  5. Worldly goals are absurdly simplistic and actually profit little, yet they are the rage for many.
    1. Do you know that worldly parents actually brag about children graduating from college?
    2. A college degree is the opiate of the poor – a huge achievement and harbinger of success.
    3. A college degree itself is worth little – everyone has one – and it hardly impacts success.
    4. For full disclosure – an advanced technical degree significantly impacts success e.g. M.D.


What Method?

  1. Introduce and justify a simple table of goals and priorities for scriptural child training (here).
    1. Compare, contrast, condemn many aspects of popular goals and scope-and-sequences.
    2. Parents need a tool for what is most important, less important but necessary, and so forth.
    3. There is so much more to success than a mere college degree as worshipped by so many.
    4. There are many other categories and issues of character and conduct for successful adults.
  2. Your children are formed every day by your actions, family culture, inputs, and by teaching.
    1. Parents must train by example, thorough instruction, reminders, and then enforcement.
    2. Think summer vacation. Who suggested it is for playing? Why do parents believe the lie?
    3. Every activity and event in a family, whether necessary or designed, can be for training.
    4. Yet the burden is light, because it simply takes a little creativity and lots of consistency.
  3. This short study or sermon series is not a how-to seminar but a what-are-my-goals workshop.
  4. As a church, parents should encourage each other to do better toward producing great adults.
    1. Why do we press our young men to present Psalms? For the soft skill of public speaking.
    2. Why do we have a highly-chaperoned youth group? To promote social graciousness, etc.


What Measures?

  1. If you allow the world to set the measurements, you will train losers while praising the losers.
  2. The most objective measures of success are the ones you need to avoid lying self-deception.
    1. Do others – not you – highly regard your children’s character, conduct, and contribution?
    2. Are your children friendly to other children, always gracious, engaging and helpful, etc.?
    3. How many crave your children’s friendship? How many adults esteem your children?
    4. Your opinion of your children is deceitful and dangerous; you are biased several ways.
    5. Are suitors lining up for your children? How quickly did they? It is a strong measure.
    6. Rate-a-date measures for a good man …
    7. Rate-a-date for a good woman …
  3. Most men will proclaim – due to inherited lying arrogance – their own goodness (Prov 20:6).
    1. What can save you from believing this about yourself? You will default to self-deception.
    2. What can save you from thinking this about your children? You default to family pride.
    3. What can save you from thinking dress, habits, zeal, etc. you bred and taught are good?
    4. What can save you from Christians that in charity 95% of the time flatter your children?
    5. What can save you from the automatic manipulation children learn to keep you happy?
    6. You must not measure by report cards, participation trophies, or lack of cocaine use.
  4. You must have objective checklists, measures, and standards outside yourself that are true.
    1. Our rule of thumb for what salary and assets should be by age is to stop self-deception.
    2. Of course, the Bible is the ultimate standard, but how do we measure Biblical character?
    3. Favor with God and men (I Sam 2:26; Pr 3:3-4; Lu 2:52) – it does not lie like most rules.
    4. God, the first measure, says others are second best measure (Pr 11:16,22; 22:1,11; 18:24).
    5. The combination of wining God and others is GOS, which Paul wrote (I Cor 10:31-33).
    6. You rebel against God and His word when you think or say that others are unfair to you.
    7. You rebel against God and His word when you think or say goal one prohibits goal two.
    8. The most righteous men in the Bible were also the most loved men in the Bible. Read it!
    9. Approval in school means very little, for you paid the teachers to flatter and exaggerate.
    10.  Approval in the workplace means much more, for they pay you to actually do something.
    11.  So a job with an employer’s rules and approval along with money management are great.


What Miscellaneous?

  1. If you are a child, you should crave parental instruction and be totally open and responsive.
  2. If you are a grandparent, you should encourage and support your children training children.


For Further Study:

  1. Rate-a-Date Girls.
  2. Rate-a-Date Guys.
  3. Goals of Child Training (2006).
  4. Mandate of Child Training (2006).
  5. A Good Name (slides).
  6. A Good Name (outline).
  7. A Good Name.
  8. Family Planning.
  9. Breaking Family Sin Cycles.
  10. Role of the Woman.
  11. Role of the Man.
  12. Proverbs 31 commentaries.
  13. All Proverb commentaries.
  14. Character Illustrated by Bible Youth.
  15. David’s Character Traits (25 pages; 2017).
  16. Heart of David (10 pages; 2004).
  17. David’s Deeds Illustrating Character.
  18. Character of Joseph.
  19. A Mighty Man’s Life.
  20. Character Studies … C studies.
  21. Relationship Opportunities.
  22. Righteous Relationships.
  23. Relationships Chart.
  24. Christ-Like Men.
  25. Etiquette for Youth.
  26. Warnings about a transferable skill.
  27. Proverbs for youth.
  28. Measuring Your Life (slides).
  29. Measuring Your Life (outline).
  30. Great Men in Public.
  31. Traits of Great Men.
  32. Men Growing Up (Maturity Curve).
  33. Kingly Conduct.
  34. Getting Ahead on the Job.
  35. Virtuous woman … not in e-format
  36. Child Training … not in e-format
  37. Use our website’s search function for more documents and check out the links at the end of each link above.