Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it – Proverbs 22:6.
Training our children is vital. By nature, it is proactive, not just reactive and corrective. It lays solid foundations for our kids that they will build on for the rest of their lives.
Let’s examine the vital teachings in this passage, which tell us how we are to go about training our children.
Love the Lord your God (v.5)
Our training of our children should flow from our love for our Father in Heaven. As we do so in this way, it will help them to be drawn to warmly serve our loving God, and to not simply conform to a series of rules. Let’s use the Bible to teach our kids about the love of God and Jesus, and their great plan for our lives. As we do so, they will come to seek to obey God out of a sense of love and gratitude rather than pressure and stress.
These commandments (v.6)
The Bible, the wonderful Word of God, is the underlying basis of the training we are to do for our kids. As we do so, beginning in their youngest years in a positive, encouraging manner, it will come to be revered, loved and believed by them. It will bless them wonderfully by teaching them the magnificent guidance of God, thereby protecting them from the problems, mistakes and sins that can come their way in this world. And, having been trained in it by you in their growing years, they will be far more likely, as they become mature, to decide to become disciples of Christ and be born again!
“These commandments… are to be upon your hearts” (v. 6)
Yes, let’s train them from our heart level. God will use us in this way to put His Word “in their hearts…. and on their minds” (Hebrews 10:16). As you, from your heart, share the love God with them, you will help them to take His Word deeply into their hearts, and they will be far more likely to receive it, and to never let it go.
“Impress them on your children” (v.7)
Training with Scripture must be done with great conviction, sincerity and earnestness. If you want your training to go in profoundly, you will have to give it all you’ve got – sharing it with heartfelt and patient explanation. As they see it coming in this way, and from your genuine devotion to God, it will deeply affect them.
“Talk about them when you sit at home…walk along the road…lie down…when you get up” (V.7)
Training doesn’t just happen at church or in Sunday School or during family devotional times – it can happen anytime and anywhere! Let’s bring the Bible into our daily conversations, showing our children how God’s word and ways apply to everything they are going through.
As we learned in an earlier article, we can teach and train our kids in three different ways: spontaneously during conversations, in one on one times set with them, and in our family devotionals. Let’s use all three methods!
Use God’s Word to train your kids as you seek His wisdom as their father. Teach them about coming to faith in God and Jesus, about character and attitudes they need to have, about what they need to value in life. Show them how to be to be loving, patient, and encouraging by being loving, patient and encouraging yourself.
Let’s not think of training only as correction or rebuke. Instead, it is to be a positive experience in which we teach them about the great life God has designed for us all. Yes, at times we will need to use it to correct them and direct them away from wrong thinking and behavior, but let’s make our primary pattern of training that of positively building God’s wise foundations within them.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him….
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts. – Psalm 103:13, 17-18
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4
As God the Father loves and trains us with compassion and grace, let us love and train our children in the same way!
Shared from Sam Laing’s Warrior for the Lord.