How do you train up a child? As Christian parents, we know that God’s Word is full of wisdom that we can use to train up our children. What are some of the guidelines that have been given – and do we have any freedom when it comes to their training?
What does “Train Up a Child” mean?
As Christians, I think we have taken Proverbs 22:6 as a promise. If we train up our children in christian homes, they will grow up to be God-honoring Christians. However, I think we need to be careful laying claim to something that may not technically be a promise.
The book of Proverbs was not written as a promise. Instead, it was written as wisdom from a father to his children. Inspired from God to be lessons for us.
When we train up our child(ren) to follow the Lord, we are doing what we would do in the lives of anyone we invest in. We are planting seeds of the Gospel of Grace into their lives. God brings the increase- not us. There is free will involved – and we can not “make” our children into believers. The most important thing we can do for our children is to show them faith.
“Train Up A Child” is a stewardship process. Just like finances, our homes, our jobs, our marriages, our ministries- our children are gifts from God. They are ours to steward.
How to Train Up A Child?
The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom in ways that we can train up our children. Here are some simple steps:
- Be Present- In order to train up children, we must be present in their lives. You can not train someone or something you are not actively a part of. Although there is no specific verse for this point, I think we would agree we can’t invest in something we don’t spend time with. Our greatest investments in eternity will come with our greatest investments of our time.
- God’s Word- There are many verses in Proverbs that talks about obeying the command and writing the command of the mother and father on the tables of a child’s heart. We need to spend time investing the Word of God into our kids lives. Awesome verses on this are: Proverbs 1:8, Proverbs 6:20
- Discipline: Proverbs 23:13 and Proverbs 22:15 talks about discipline. While there are extremes we should not go to in our discipline, we do need to be sure that we are showing an equal balance of truth and grace in our home. There needs to be consequences for actions. We also need to take moments when we can give grace to our children, and help them work through their bad choices with grace and love. An equal balance of this is key – and I know that we struggle here at times as parents. Seek God’s guidance to discipline in your child’s life- but know that you are giving them life if you will love them enough to have rules and expectations for them to follow. Also, be sure these rules and expectations are age appropriate. (Other verses: Proverbs 19:18, Proverbs 15:5)
- Guide Your Children – Even children are known by what they do (Proverbs 20:11). We need to guide our children. The best way for us to guide them is to be a good example to them. What do they see you doing for the kingdom of God.
Train Up A Child In the Way HE should go….
Something I think we lose in this verse is that it says we should train up a child in the way he should go. Not the way they should go. If you are the mama to more than one child, it is real easy to think there is one best way to do it for each of our children. That just isn’t the case. Each of our children are different, uniquely gifted by God. Each child requires different training. We can’t do the same thing with one that we will do with another- it just doesn’t work that way.
The same is true for other families. You might have a friend who homeschools– but you choose to send your child to public school. We actually do both in our home – because it is what is best for the individual child. Some parents co-sleep, some breastfeed, some Moms work. Each child is different. We need to let go of Mommy hate and remember that we have been given the children we have to steward. It is important that we not compare – because they are different.
Training up children is a hard, lifelong task. However, it comes with eternal rewards. It is one of my greatest passions – you can find more specifics in my book: Teaching Them Diligently.
What about you? What are some tools you use as you train up your children?
Join the other girls from the Good Morning Girls Leadership Team for their thoughts on this weeks passage:
Worshiping With My Life,