“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
To love our children wisely, we are to train them in the way they should go. God entrusts us with these precious children, and He expects us to train them. I’ve been hearing a lot about “training” lately, and I think God is trying to improve my “trainer” skills as a mom, so bear with me.
Training our children means we need to teach them about Jesus and his love for us. Read His Word together. Pray. Listen to God’s voice for His direction and purpose in their lives. My pastor told a story about talking to his wife’s pregnant belly when she became pregnant with their first child. And at delivery, the doctors were examining his newly delivered son because of complications, and his son was crying and screaming. The pastor went over and started talking and immediately his son stopped crying and turned his head toward him. He had trained his son to hear and respond to his voice. Talking to our children about Jesus’ love and grace, his truth and commandments, his life, death, and resurrection, reading His Word and praying trains our children to hear and respond to His voice.
But training our children in the way they should go also means training them to respond to our voice. If I want them to be hard working, independent, honest and respected adults, I need to train them while they are young. That means creating boundaries and limits and teaching them the truth is always the best avenue (and usually leads to lesser punishments than lying to my face after doing something they shouldn’t!) It means not waiting on them hand and foot and making them clean up after themselves. It means saying the words, “No” and “Stop.” Those two words are invaluable parenting words! We need to train our children to respond appropriately when we say “no” and “stop.” (This is very much a work in progress at my house.) Training a child in the way they should go is actually really really hard because the cute bundles of energy just don’t get it the first time…or the first hundred times! It takes time, consistency, and discipline…for me! When I do those things, I see much greater results with the training of my boys.
“You can begin your work too late, but you can never begin your work too early…The earlier the training, the easier the work, the more encouraging the result.” — Alistair Begg
If I put the time and effort into training my kids in the way they should go when they are little, they’ll grow into responsible, trustworthy teenagers, and one day become independent, respected, and productive members of society. Training is doing the little things every single day and not slacking off.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” — John Wooden, renowned UCLA basketball coach.
Lord, help me do the little things when training my children in the way they should go so that the big thing happens…”and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”