Training Children

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

What is “the way a child should go?” The way a child should go is to the Lord. Every child no matter what gifts and talents he/she has or doesn't have should be brought up to be a lover of God.

Is this really practical? You might say my child desires to be a mathematician or a scientist, a dancer or a mom... What do those things have to do with God? Who created us, created math, created the world? Despite what the world would have us believe there is no separation between God and the state, science, education, etc (see Elliot Pollasch's sermon 6/14/09 A Reasoned Faith for more on this topic; it is especially good if you have children close to college age).

God needs to be the foundation of our lives, but many people stop their faith right there. God is not only the foundation of our lives but He is also the path we are to daily walk upon. Why do so many young people walk away from the Lord? One reason is because their faith has no connection with everyday life and so it makes it very easy for them to throw it out the door. God is a Sunday morning event (and with many sports activities these days, He isn't even that) and then He is full of rules that end up being an annoyance from them being able to “fit in” with the crowd. They don't understand that they are a valued son or daughter of the King of the universe. That they are a friend of God (Romans 5:10-11). He desires to order their steps aright and to give them the desires of their heart. They don't realize that no matter what they choose to do with their lives He is a part of it. Scientists will get to discover the hidden secrets of God. You can see my article The God/Math Connection to see what God has to do with math. Dancers produce a form of worship and it can be done to the glory of God. Moms are raising the next generation of godly people. They have their hands daily involved in developing the only thing that is eternal, human lives!

How then do we bring God into our children's everyday lives? Deuteronomy 6:6-9 gives us a pretty good idea.
These commandments that I give you today
are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes
of your houses and on your gates.

We make God as real as He is. We show our children that He truly is a part of our everyday life, a part of every subject and that He truly cares and loves us. So many parents set themselves up on a pedestal before their kids; look at me, follow my example, I'm the one in charge and control. This works for awhile, until you fail and hurt your kids and then they begin to resent you and everything you represent (including God). Instead of you being on the pedestal try allowing God to be on the pedestal. You should just be an arrow pointing the way to Him and you need to train your children to look beyond you to Him. When I talk to my kids about obeying me, I don't tell them to obey me because I am their parent and they have to. I tell them that I am responsible before God to raise them up in His ways and that God is not only requiring something of them, but He is also requiring something of me. Or if I mess up, I will ask for their forgiveness and we will pray together for His help the next time. Don't be too proud before your kids to admit your failures. Show them who you look to and how you look to Him so that they will know how to do it when they fail.

Let God be God in your life and your kids' lives everyday. If you do, they will become lovers of Him and when they are older they will not depart from Him.

1 comment:

  1. So true. I try to stop in the hustle and bustle of every day and ask myself if I have just rushed through the day or if I have spoken of the one who really matters that day...


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