“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Yesterday we talked about how our kids need discipline. Today let’s examine two different aspects of it.
A favorite Bible teacher of mine once said, “Anything living seeks to thrive” (paraphrase, Watchman Nee). We probably don’t need a preacher to tell us that, but it is always good when God sends someone to remind us of the important things we so easily forget.
Children exude life, and it is important for us to remember that they have a natural need to thrive. Our scripture reminds us to “train” them “in the way” they should go. In other words, our training needs to be both generalized and specialized so they can succeed in life according to God’s standards.
Generally, all kids need the spiritual and moral foundation Christians are given in the Bible upon which to build a godly lifestyle. Specifically, your child needs the one on one attention and treatment only you can give them! It is vitally important for every father or mother to know both the Bible and their child. Once they do it becomes much easier to find the best “way” to lead as a parent.
The word “way” here means a literal “road.” It refers to both one’s course in life and his mode of action. This tells me that it is our job to get our kids into the appropriate shape for the proper journey.
Let’s go back to the word “train” for a moment. In reviewing its various definitions again, I noticed that my Webster’s dictionary used the example of how a gardener forms a young tree to a wall, molding and shaping it until it begins to grow in the desired direction. That is how God expects us to work with our children, knowing first what is within their capability and then taking the right kinds of measures to initiate and monitor their own growth process. The love we have for who they are should compel us as believers to train our children in the “nurture and admonition” of the Lord (see Ephesians 6:4). If we do, they won’t turn and go in another direction even when we are long gone!