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Raising Children God's Way: (2) Nourish to Maturity

Lesson 2 of 4: audio and written syllabus included.

Topic: How to - Doctrine, Reproof, Correction - Training - How and Why
Format: MP3 - Digitized Verified
Pages: 14
Raising Children God's Way: (1) The Parent’s First Responsibility Raising Children God's Way: (3) Nurture is Disciplined Training Raising Children God's Way: (4) Practical Keys

Raising Children God’s Way

Session 2: Nourish to Maturity

As a good Father, after warning of what not to do, God tells us what we should do.

Ephesians 6:4

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


The words “bring them up” in this verse are translated from the one Greek word ektrepho. It means to raise, or nourish up to maturity.

Good Christian parenting is a matter of understanding and ensuring that our children are receiving all that they need to grow into mature Christians.

The Greek word ektrepho is also used in Ephesians 5:29

Ephesians 5:29

For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Nourishing includes taking care of children’s physical needs: Nutrition, rest, exercise, health. Nourishing or raising children goes far beyond attending to the physical needs, though. It is bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Training Children

The word “nurture” in Ephesians 6:4 comes from the Greek word paideia..

“Nurture” means instruction through disciplined training

This is the word found in various forms in Hebrew 12.

Hebrews 12:5-11

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

The Heart of the Matter

Verse 6 states, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth,” or instructs. The foundation for training a child is love. Good parenting is more than just having knowledge of a particular set of skills. Raising good children is more than just getting them to follow the rules. Romans 12:10 tells us, “love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Love is the motivation, the means, and the ends to raising children.

You will never train your child to obey you out of love, if you are not acting out of love yourself.

In order to be the kind of example and the kind of parents that we want to be, we must receive the training up, the disciplined instruction that our Father has provided for us.

Communicate love to your children. It is not enough that you do love them; they need to know it.

Show them affection. Touch is vital to communicating love; it is vital to the development of a child.

Instruction seeks to communicate love so that their response will be motivated by love. It is not enough that we simply take the right action; we must do it with the right motivation. Rewards and consequences in some way play a role in training a child, but must be handled within the context of instruction through disciplined training. With either you can inadvertently train your child to act only out of what is in their own best interest, rather than the desire to simply do the right thing out of a heart of love.

Love begets love. It is the natural response. We love because He first loved us.

Nurture is Instruction

The Greek word paideia, translated “nurture” in Ephesians 6:4, is also found in II Timothy.

2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Bringing up a child in the nurture of the Lord requires 1.



Correction which is “instruction” (paideia) in righteousness


Deuteronomy 6:4 - 9

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

God’s Word pertains to all of life, so in every situation, teach your child the Word. Share with your children what God has done for you. Then take the time to also open the Bible with them.


Reproof is always done with love. It seeks not retaliation nor punishment but rather restoration.

Example: Nathan saying the one thing that would get through to David’s heart.

A child must absolutely know how much you love them if they are going to be able to receive reproof. Must know that you love them unconditionally. Nothing they do can ever make you love them less. We want our children to be their best, but we love them as they are. Always think the best and say the best about your children.


Especially as children get older, there is a need to correct doctrinal error. Direct attacks on truth happen thru outside instruction, and indirect attacks will come from the wrongly accepted standards of the world. Just because you have taught them well, don’t assume that they are immune. When those occur, take the time to again reestablish the truth from God’s Word.

Doctrine, reproof, and correction make up the instruction in righteousness, which is the profit of God’s Word. Bringing up children requires that disciplined instruction in order to direct a child’s heart to the Lord. That is what the parent’s responsibility is all about. It is much greater than simply controlling unruly children.