Train up a child…

“When I am tempted to throw a block at Sam’s head, I will cast out Satan in Jesus’ name and pray to God. Then I will say “Sorry” to Sam and give him a hug.” – Ate Allyra

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Our little girl hurt her brother this morning, and we corrected her and reminded her that she should always choose to listen to Jesus in her heart and not the devil who wants us to do bad things. As all things are orchestrated by a Great God, her bible lesson in class today was about the temptation of Jesus, and this was what she drew and had me write on her activity which requires her to give an example of a temptation she had to deal with. Praise God she was able to process right away how the Word is to be applied in her experience today!

This got me reflecting on the verse most every Christian parent knows:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

“TRAIN UP A CHILD”

Merriam Webster defines the word “train” as such:

  1. to direct the growth of usually by bending, pruning, and tying
  2. to form by instruction, discipline, or drill
  3. to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient
  4. to make prepared (as by exercise) for a test of skill
  5. to aim at an object or objective

This denotes a purposeful, deliberate and much more thorough kind of instruction than just a reminder here and there about what God tells us to do or what God would have us say. It’s definitely more than just saying “grace’ before meals and going to church on Sundays. It implies a serious kind of training for a specific purpose, much like how an athlete goes through regular, oftentimes difficult and focused drills and exercises to build strength, stamina, and improve skill. And so we are to do this type of “training up” our children, but in what?

“IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO”

What is “the way?” Again, a favorite bible verse comes to mind:

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6

Jesus is the ONLY WAY and we should be training our children to become like Jesus and to place their trust in Him alone. There is simply no other way.

How are we supposed to do this seemingly overwhelming task? Well, we are fortunate, because God has graciously provided us with a “training manual.”

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-18

No instruction booklet or book on values, good manners or proper etiquette will ever do. If we want to raise children who are going on to be perfected as all believers should, we must read, meditate, study and teach them scripture. That is how we as children of God are being prepared for all the good things he has in store for us.

It all seems so cut out, and God’s instruction to us parents and teachers very clear, but as all may agree, it is easier said than done. For even as athletes need consistent and disciplined training in order to succeed, so must we be consistent, patient and determined to allow God’s Word to mold us and our children. And change doesn’t happen overnight. We all have to be “processed,” so-to-speak. But, it stands to reason, if we only give our children very little training, then they would more likely grow up doing more of the “departing.” But if we do our best to give them the best training possible, then we can have faith that though they may sometimes sway here and there as they grow up, if they are firmly grounded in God’s Word, they will not depart from it.

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