Train Your Children

Scripture: Proverbs 22:6, ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.’

 

Observations: While the Hebrew word translated ‘train’ is usually translated as ‘dedicate,’ i.e. something dedicated to the Lord, the ideas here overlap. To dedicate a child to a certain path is to train them in how they should live. The idea is that as parents we ought to train our children in the fear of the Lord. However, the second half of the proverbs is not a promise, but a general truth, that when they are old they will remember what they have been taught and return to the proper path. It’s important that we remember that proverbs such as this are not universal truths. Otherwise, if our child wanders from the faith we beat ourselves up with guilt and a sense of failure. Or, if they choose the right path we puff ourselves up with pride for how we succeeded. The truth is that our children are responsible for their own decisions, all we can do is train them to trust Jesus and honour God.

 

Application: While the result of our training isn’t within our control, the actual training itself is. So are you training your children in the way they should go? Are you teaching your children to put their trust in Jesus Christ as the only way for them to be saved? Often what we teach our children is that they should do the right thing, go to church, keep clean, and be nice, but the danger of that is we are teaching them to be religious rather than to have a relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Secondly, our children learn most by our example. Often we teach our kids one thing with our words but something different by how we behave.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the training that my parents gave me, but most of all thank You for Your Holy Spirit that transformed my wayward heart and made me alive to Your grace in Jesus Christ. Lord, I pray that You will do the same for my children. Help me to teach my children about Your Son, Jesus Christ, that they may understand Your grace and love and put their faith in Him. Lord, may Your Spirit make up for my failings and inadequacies. May You be faithful to the promises that You made at their baptism, that they not only belong to Your covenant family, but that they will become Your children and worship You forever. In Jesus’ name I ask these things. Amen.

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