Learning what is right and what is wrong is a process. Children are not immediately keen to the moral goodness. In fact, they are completely sin-ridden and selfish. Just ask your screaming two-month-old at 3 am how much they are concerned with your need for sleep.
It is absolutely essential that we teach our children the biblical truth that salvation is never earned, but that it is a “gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9). However, along with this gospel truth, we must also train our children in good morals, teaching them that following Jesus includes doing what is right, and abhorring what is wrong.
Therefore, pray that your child would develop a keen sense of morals, loving what is right and hating what is wrong. One reason we must desire this for our children is for the sake of their own earthly well-being.
Teaching our children that stealing is wrong keeps them out of jail. Training them not to be selfish allows them to serve and help others. Coaching them to respect their elders provides them with essential wisdom for maturity in our society.
These are just some practical daily applications of having good morals, but there is a deeper and more essential reason for our children to do what is right and hate what is wrong; to glorify God.
Good morals in our believing children magnifies God’s glory, as their behavior matches the character of God, thus revealing him to others. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:16).
Good morals in our believing children also magnifies God’s glory in their rejection of sin and evil. James said, “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17). Not doing the right thing is sin. Therefore, knowing what is right and doing it honors God. What more could we want from our children than to honor God?
So, pray for your children’s moral understanding, asking God to provide them with awareness of right and wrong. Much of this task will be on you, parents. Your training, teaching, and involvement in their daily life will have the biggest impact on their morality. But to do this well, we must call upon God in prayer to infuse his truth into our children’s hearts, teaching them what is right and wrong.