【Day 2】Education and Training of Conscience
Acts 24:16 Because of this I also exercise myself to always have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
Spiritual education is to enlighten the child’s spiritual functions, to exercise them, thus his conscience becomes keen, his intuition brightens, and to learn to fellowship with God without hindrance. There are three main functions of the human spirit: conscience, intuition, and fellowship. The conscience enables a person to know right from wrong, to know what is justified by God and what is condemned by God. (Acts 23:1, Acts 24：16, Romans 9:1) Fellowship is the function of man to worship God, to converse with God, to communicate with God (The Gospel of John 4: 24, 1 John 1:3, 7). Intuition is a direct sense of God, so that man may know God and obey Him by the teaching of the anointing (1 John 1:20, 27).
The conscience is the main part of the spirit; the development of the child’s spirituality is mainly inspired by the feeling of conscience. It is important for the conscience to have a keen sense. If the child’s conscience has no feeling, its sense is dull, if the conscience is dead, as the Bible says, some people’s conscience is like a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2), then the child will be hopeless. He will not have a feeling for God, nor for people. Eventually he will not turn to God
or get close to Him. Therefore, the education and training of conscience is very important.
We want our children to grow up in a loving environment, in a tender, compassionate environment; in this way, their heart will become soft and their conscience will be sensitive. Parents need to be responsive to their children’s feelings and show compassion; parents also need to help their children understand their own feelings, in order to understand the feelings of others. Parents should help their children show compassion to others. Parents should encourage their children’s compassionate behavior. To help our children, first of all, we need to have compassion, empathy, and to show compassion for others.
Help children to know and exercise their conscience, so that they will always have a conscience that is free from offense toward God and people (Acts 23:1, Acts 24:16). The first thing we need to do to practice a conscience without offense is to establish a correct sense of right and wrong. We need to have a correct view of right and wrong according to God’s standard, so that our children will know what is right and what is wrong, what is justified by God and what is condemned by God. From a young age, we must educate our children according to God’s standard and God’s Word, so that they will know what is pleasing to God and what is displeasing to God.
When a child knows that he has done or said something wrong, or has sinned against God or others, and has a conviction or feeling in his conscience, the parents should help the child to confess sins to God and apologize to others, so that he will always have a clear conscience. This means parents must be people who confess their sins to God and apologize to people (always have a clear conscience). If parents have soft hearts and often ask God for forgiveness, their children will naturally grow up in such an atmosphere, and their conscience will become sensitive and full of feeling.
Help children to have a proper sense of morality and shame (1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 3-4). When man knew that he was naked after the fall in the Garden of Eden, he immediately had a sense of shame and took the leaves of the fig tree to cover himself (Genesis 3:7) ；Girls, in particular, should wear clothes not only to keep warm, but also to cover. Paul says in 1 Timothy chapter 2 that women should dress properly and appropriately, and adorn themselves with modesty and sobriety. The footnotes say that modesty “Lit., shame, fastness; i.e., bound or made fast by an honorable shame (Vincent), implying not forward or overbold but moderate, observing the properties of womanhood”. This honorable shame is the sense of conscience. To help our children to have a noble and honorable sense of shame and morality from an early age is to help their conscience to have a keen sense of it.
Today, we have to educate our children with God’s culture, that is, with God’s word, Holy Scripture, so that the standard of the child’s conscious feeling is based on God’s holy Word. A child’s conscience must be educated through the Word of God and a sanctified environment; the Word of God on one side and a sanctified environment on the other. Our home must be a home full of the Word of God; through the daily reading of the Word of God, that the Word of God may be filled in our children, and that the standard of their conscience may be raised to the standard of the Word of God. Moreover, our home must be a sanctified home; if the parents live a sanctified life, they will give their children a sanctified living environment, so that the children’s conscience will be raised by the sanctified environment.