Children and the Bible
All Scriptures taken from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
All emphasis in the following Scriptures is our own.
What Does God Expect of Me?
God expects the young and old to obey His commandments. However, the main direction that God gives to young people is to honor and obey their parents. This teaches us to honor and obey God, by recognizing that there will always be an authority in our lives.
“Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, ‘so you will live well and have a long life’” (Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV).
“Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you” (Exodus 20:12 Amplified).
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1 NKJV).
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9 NASB).
“Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:20 KJV).
“Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:11 NKJV). “Pay attention to your father, and don’t neglect your mother when she grows old” (Proverbs 23:22 CEV).
“Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it” (Proverbs 8:32-33 NKJV).
“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (Proverbs 20:11 KJV).
“My children, have nothing to do with false gods or idols” (1 John 5:21 WE).
How to Grow in Wisdom
The Bible tells everyone how to grow in His wisdom. Most of these verses are found in the Book of Proverbs.
“Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And whatever else you do, get good judgment” (Proverbs 4:7 NLT).
“The road to life is a disciplined life; ignore correction and you’re lost for good.” (Proverbs 10:17 The Message).
“Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join in the company of mockers. Rather, he delights in the teachings of the Lord and reflects on his teachings day and night. He is like a tree that is planted beside streams–a tree that produces fruit in season and whose leaves do not wither. He succeeds in everything he does” (Psalm 1:1-3 God’s Word).
“The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4 NASB).
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:1-6 NIV).
“And this is what he says to all humanity: `The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding’” (Job 28:28 NLT).
“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world–wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important–has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him” (1 John 2:15-16 The Message).
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24 NKJV).
“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22 NLT).
“Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them” (Hosea 14:9 NIV).
“My child, don’t turn away or become bitter when the LORD corrects you. The LORD corrects everyone he loves, just as parents correct their favorite child” (Proverbs 3:11-12 CEV).
“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:5 NKJV).
“Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom–it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats. Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced” (James 3:13-17 The Message).
“For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life” (Proverbs 6:23 NIV).
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength….The wisdom of this world is foolishness to God” (1 Corinthians 1:25 and 3:19 NIV).
“GOD’s Message: “Don’t let the wise brag of their wisdom. Don’t let heroes brag of their exploits. Don’t let the rich brag of their riches. If you brag, brag of this and this only: That you understand and know me. I’m GOD, and I act in loyal love. I do what’s right and set things right and fair, and delight in those who do the same things. These are my trademarks” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 The Message).
“Those who sneer at others don’t like to be corrected, and they won’t ask help from someone with sense” (Proverbs 15:12 CEV).
“Whoever loves instruction and correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is like a brute beast, stupid and indiscriminating” (Proverbs 12:1 Amplified).
“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules” (Psalm 119:9 NLT).
“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don’t brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise!” (James 3:13 NLT).
“…I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (Romans 16:19 NIV).
“If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject criticism, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Fear of the LORD teaches a person to be wise; humility precedes honor” (Proverbs 15:31-33 NLT).
“My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live?” (Hebrews 12:5b-9 The Message).
“In a similar way, urge the younger men to be self-restrained and to behave prudently [taking life seriously]” (Titus 2:6 Amplified).
“A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back” (Proverbs 29:11 NASB).
“Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourself with humility toward one another, because ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5- NIV).
“Your laws never leave my mind, and they make me much wiser than my enemies. Thinking about your teachings gives me better understanding than my teachers, and obeying your laws makes me wiser than those who have lived a long time” (Psalm 119:98-100 CEV).
“And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity…Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes!” (1 Timothy 4:12,15 The Message).
“But meat is for people who are grown up. It is for people who have trained their minds to know the difference between what is good and what is bad” (Hebrews 5:14 WE).
“Fools have no desire to learn; they would much rather give their own opinion” (Proverbs 18:2 CEV).
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12 NKJV).
“It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, “Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor” (Luke 6:41-42 The Message).
“You think that everyone should agree with your perfect knowledge. While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds up the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one God knows and cares for” (1 Corinthians 8: 1b-3 NLT).
“LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or awesome for me. But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:1-2 NLT).
“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me” (Matthew 10:39 The Message).
“You will never get into God’s kingdom unless you enter it like a child!” (Luke 18:17 CEV).
“If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking” (James 1:5 CEV).
Warnings for Youth
“I’m too young to be held responsible for my actions!” Is that what you think? It is interesting how many warnings the Lord gives to youth.
“Any and every person who curses his father or mother must be put to death. By cursing his father or mother he is responsible for his own death” (Leviticus 20:9 The Message).
“There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers; those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth” (Proverbs 30:12 NIV).
Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, This is no sin–he is in the same class as [an open, lawless robber and] a destroyer” (Proverbs 28:24 Amplified).
“A wise son makes a glad father, but a self-confident and foolish man despises his mother and puts her to shame” (Proverbs 15:20 Amplified).
“Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols” (1 Samuel 15:23 NLT).
“As (Elisha) was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. ‘Go on up, you baldhead!’ they said. ‘Go on up, you baldhead!’ He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths” (2 Kings 2:23-24 NIV).
“Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me” (Job 19:18 NIV).
“(They) will each be cruel to friends and neighbors. Young people will insult their elders; no one will show respect to those who deserve it” (Isaiah 3:5 CEV).
“….A foolish and self-confident son is the grief of his mother” (Proverbs 10:1b Amplified).
“My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them” (Proverbs 1:10 NIV).
“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king…and he did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, imitating the detestable practices of the pagan nations whom the LORD had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites…Manasseh led them to do even more evil than the pagan nations whom the LORD had destroyed when the Israelites entered the land…” (2 Kings 21:1-2, 9 NLT).
“You sit around and slander a brother–your own mother’s son. While you did all this, I remained silent, and you thought I didn’t care. But now I will rebuke you, listing all my charges against you” (Psalm 50:20, 21b NLT).
“The eye that mocks his father, And scorns obedience to his mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it” (Proverbs 30:17 NKJV).
“…the rebellious dwell in a parched land” (Psalm 68:6 Amplified)
“You should also know this….that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred” (2 Timothy 3:1-2 NLT).
“And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death” (Matthew 10:21 KJV).
“God clearly says, “Respect your father and mother,’ and, “Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed’” (Matthew 15:4 The Message).
“Foolish children bring sorrow to their father and pain to their mother” (Proverbs 17:10 CEV)
What Does God Want From My Life?
When it is all said and done, God makes it very simple. Don’t you love Him for that?
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 Amplified).
“I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2 KJV).
“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met” (Matthew 6:33 The Message).
“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31 NKJV).
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get” (Matthew 7:12 The Message)
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8 NASB).
“Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup–where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” (James 2:14-17 The Message).
“Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements” (Romans 13:10 NLT).
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14 KJV).
“This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves…My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love” (1 John 3:16, 18 The Message).
“Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ….” (Galatians 6:2 Amplified).
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27 NKJV).
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks” (2 Timothy 2:1 NLT).
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand–shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16 The Message).
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (Romans 12:1 NLT).
“If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me and for the good news, you will save it” (Mark 8:35 CEV).
“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26 NLT).
“From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17 NIV)
“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30 NIV).
“But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:13 NKJV).
“Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 NLT).
“In the last days, God said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18 NLT).
“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6:28-29 NASB).
“And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us” (1 John 3:23 NLT).
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV).