Both the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible provide guidance to parents in teaching manners to children. Some etiquette instructions are clearly set in biblical writings, such as obedience to parents written in the Ten Commandments and Ephesians. Other guidelines are inferred from the Bible’s teachings. Children’s etiquette rules, whether directly written in the Bible or derived from it, center around kindness, respect and obedience.
The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule, often stated as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is a fundamental rule of etiquette found in the Bible and other teachings of world religions. Matthew 7:12 is a well-known New Testament statement of the rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.” This writing is directed at both children and adults and is used by parents today to teach young children about kindness and respect. One application of the Golden Rule is to prevent children from behaving rudely in public.
Manners in Church
The Book of Leviticus states that a place of worship to God must be revered. According to The Assemblies of God USA, we can infer from Leviticus and other teachings that children must treat the church facility with respect to revere God. Some etiquette rules for children in church include dressing properly, speaking quietly, focusing on prayer and respecting others.
Obedience to Parents
Ephesians 6:1 teaches, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right,” clearly indicating the child’s role in the family order. This teaching aims to guide both children and parents in the structure of a family and ensure the prosperity of the family and the community. Obedience to parents manifests in modern manner rules, as in saying “please” and “thank you” and respecting the rules and property of elders.
Manners and etiquette expected of today’s children have deep roots in Scripture and can be readily applied to modern situations. Teachings of kindness and respect to others guide etiquette rules including using polite language, playing fairly in games and sports, obeying teachers in class and keeping clean.
- The Interactive Bible: Parents’ Responsibility to Children and the Bible
- Heart of the Matter Online: Five Manners Your Preschooler Should Master
- Only a Game: The Golden Rule
- Assemblies of God USA: Reverence and Respect
- DLTK: Church and Respect
- The United Methodist Church: Teach Good Manners at Church
- Bible Suite: Ephesians 6 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
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