Saturday, February 04, 2017

WHAT ARE WE TRAINING, REALLY TRAINING OUR CHILDREN TO BE? WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO READ PROVERBS 22 THE SAME WAY, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OUR CHILDREN ARE OLD AND NOT CHRISTIAN OR IF OUR CHILDREN ARE YOUNG AND WE HOPE TO BECOME CHRISTIAN. Dan Mayfield

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

What I'm about to say here is serious and hard to hear. But I say it in love and without pride. When it comes to parenting, please do your best. And if your children are raised, trust God and praise God, because none of us could do it without Him.


Some say it's a rock hard promise. Others say it's a general principle. What's the answer?

I want you to remember first that all parents influence their children for good or for bad. We can't take credit for our children becoming upstanding citizens and dismiss responsibility if they becoming failures.

Parents who are quiet don't push their children to be bold. Parents who are weak in the faith don't
coach their children to be leaders for Christ. Parents who have the "selfishness gene" do not create great philanthropists. Parents who are enslaved to impulsiveness won't instill self-control in their children. In other words, whatever is really important to us as parents is what we will pass on to our children.

The training regimen of children becomes the daily focus and nothing less will raise them up in the way they should go.

Moses said, "4Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9“You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deut 6.

"Train up a child in the way he should go...." How many parents do you think do that? How many parents think that they trained up their children in the way to go because they were superficially, nominally, and marginally Christian? Do you think it is the majority or the minority of Christians who TRAIN their children as the Proverb is calling for? If you look at Deuteronomy 6, you can see the training regimen is 24/7 and unyielding.

Now we have to be honest and admit that most parents are not training up their children in the way they should go. They have allowed football, sports, entertainment, video games, friends, popularity, money, materialism, vanity, and much more to get in the program. Too much has been allowed into our homes and training of our children that God gets shorted and cut out of importance. So before we dismiss the power of that promise in Proverbs 22, take a look and ask if you and I are truly training our children to know and walk with the Lord.

The majority of Christians are not training their children in the way they should go. I'm saddened to say it, but most parents are more effective at imprinting their own weaknesses upon their children. They say one thing and do another. They are distracted and the children know what's most important is not God.

No compromise allowed in the ones training. We often lament that most of the work in the church is done by the few. It's a truth. We love all of the Christians, but they often have not grown to understand or practice the kind of energy and devotion in the Lord's work that we know is right. So what becomes of their children? I'll tell you. We are losing them. And the children end up rejecting the half-hearted religion their parents practiced. Truth. It's hurts, but it's truth. Children raised by a highly devoted and involved father are very very likely to walk with the Lord. Children of broken homes are getting two messages, often times, which pulls the children away from the Lord. The children choose to go to football games with the unbelieving father rather than to church with the believing mother. We must start doing things God's way. We must get our heads together, mothers and fathers, so we are always pointing our children to the Lord. Anything, anything, anything that is perceived by the children as a compromise will be tucked away in the child's mind and heart. "Training up a child in the way he should go' requires parents being exactly what God wants them to be - highly dedicated Christians. Anything short of that, the "training" will be short of proper training.

A NOTE OF HUMILITY AND COMPASSION. I THINK PEOPLE THINK IT'S EASY AND PRESUMPTUOUS OF ME TO SAY CHILDREN WILL BE FAITHFUL BECAUSE WE TAUGHT THEM TO BE FAITHFUL.

I choose not to make excuses. When the five children were being raised, Hazel and I chose not to make excuses or compromises. We weren't perfect, especially me, but I repented and corrected whatever might have been a stumblingblock to the children. Because there were times I wish I had been a better example, I won't say that those sinful moments won't and don't effect my children. I am thankful to God that with His help, so far the children are all strong leaders in the Lord's church. Could they go astray? Sure. Will they? I doubt it. If they began to stumble and fall would we be there to help and encourage them back on the path. You can bet the bank on it.
When I speak confidently on Proverbs 22 and what is possible that all of our children can and should be raised to walk faithfully, I don't mean to dig at the wound many Christians have over their lost children and I don't mean to sound proud. I'm not.
My primary focus is to assure young parents who have children that they have a very good chance of bringing their children to the Lord if they will be the kind of Christian your children will want to follow. That means no weak faith. That means no excuses. That means always, morning, noon, and night talking about God. That means growing and serving in the church. That means striving to be the leader who shows others Christians the way to go. I say what I say about parenting with love.

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