The bible tells us to, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6 (KJV).
Another translation explains it as to direct your child onto the right path, so that when they are older they will not leave it (NLT).
It is amazing how many people ignore this command, yet they and society reap the consequences of it time and time again (the lesson clearly not learnt). Training a child is the responsibility of the person or persons who has responsibility for the child and training very clearly involves discipline. It means to be actively involved and not passive as children cannot be left to their own devices – Proverbs 22:15.
Discipline involves both the instructing of a child and the discipline required to be consistent in it. This is the only way that we can set our children on a life long path to greatness.
Train Up A Child
This is probably why we have the popular saying that, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Which basically means a person set in their ways is impossible to train otherwise.
It is the responsibility of a parent to direct their child’s path by training (instructing and teaching) them from a young age when they are in their formative years. Also, it is important to know that the training is not about the parent and how they feel, but about the child and the ultimate benefit of setting them on the right path.
So, consider this, if you have young children and you are unwilling to train them because you ‘love them to much!’ When they are old they will not depart from an undisciplined, selfish and disrespectful nature that you would have nurtured inadvertently, ofcourse.
How Do You Train Up A Child?
Well, train them up to have faith in God.
Whether or not a child has a father who is active and present is no excuse as 2 Timothy 1: 5 reveals. Timothy was raised under the influence of his mother and grandmother and it started when he was little, even before he was born.
We all know history repeats itself and historically rebels and the like are generally people who were not trained in the right way they should go. If you want to set your child up for life, wealth and riches is great, but what is even better is the training for life and this only comes completely through having ‘unfeigned faith’.
Unfeigned faith is described as: sincere, wholehearted, heartfelt, hearty, unfeigned means genuine in feeling. Sincere stresses absence of hypocrisy, feigning, or any falsifying embellishment or exaggeration. A sincere apology wholehearted suggests sincerity and earnest devotion without reservation or misgiving (Merriam Webster).
This Sunday we celebrate Mothers all around the world who have dedicated their lives to raising godly children who are a testament to godly parenting and a source of pride to them and society as a whole.
While the act of training can be taxing, it is by no means something you are required to do on your own, hence the need to pray and ask God for help. When you pray to God, he answers, see Matthew 7: 7-11. It is at the time of your request you ask God to help teach your children, see Isaiah 54:13.
We know it works because there are countless testimonies of people who have been brought up this way and here is what a few people we asked had to say:-
“My mum has been praying for me for as long as I can remember, hearing her alarms go off in the morning and hearing her pray. Encouraging us to pray and read our Bible. Her lifestyle has shown me her faith isn’t fake” -Todd (25).