“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). How often have you heard that verse? But do we obey it? We say it as if we do, but the evidence is scant at best. Times have changed and not for the best. Folk, if you want your eyes and ears opened, drive a school bus. My, my, my-my ears are still ringing even with school being closed for the last seven weeks.
Certainly I’m not without sin. Given the same circumstances I would be as bad as those brats. I heard language from first-graders that I didn’t know until I was fourteen at least (it would’ve been nice if I never heard it). My throat stayed sore telling them nippers to watch their language. So, what is the problem? Simple- a lack of ‘training up a child in the way they should go’. As a child, if I said a foul word you can bet I didn’t make the same mistake, after my mouth was washed out with soap.
Surely there is more to training a child than teaching proper use of the King’s English; there is respect for others, manners, values and last, and most important- teach them of God and his principles! Observe that the Bible verse says to train them up in the way they should go; not what we want them to be. We parents are to teach our children godly things. Educate our children on the ministry opportunities out there. Many children aren’t aware of what a ‘calling’ is or how to break into certain fields. While serving in Texas, we had a career night once a month with the youth group. An adult gave a outline of their career and how to pursue such; along with their testimony for God. Many a wonderful servant in the secular field pointing the way!
Whilst we aim them spiritually, let’s steer them in the way God would have them go. “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth” (Psalm 127:4). With God’s help we can create effective arrows for the spiritual warfare taking place. Maybe we are rearing another Spurgeon, Crosby or Moody; certainly these saints were mighty warriors. But, maybe a pastor or missionary to some small town who will become just as effective-putting a dent in Satan’s plan. As we guide them let’s comply with God’s plan; that is, to produce a child that not only talks it but walks it! “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3).