The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
+ Parenthood is man’s greatest responsibility +
The Christian home is a wonderful institution designed for the purpose of training children. Parents have the privilege and responsibility of performing this duty, not the state, school, or church. Religious training is of the utmost importance, for the hope of generations to come hang upon this truth. The child that is not trained will be tossed to and fro in society. Remember, there is no second chance to raise a child. The greatest resource on child training is the Bible. It is the operating manual given by the Designer.
+ It is easier to build boys than repair men +
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
This article will look at the area of training children from a Biblical perspective. We are not concerned about what the world has to say on this matter, but we seek the truth from God’s Holy Word.
The Principle : To Train Up a Child
The principle of Proverbs 22:6 is training. The word “train” refers to the total process of molding and shaping the child’s life. It refers to everything that pertains to the proper development of children. To train is to educate, teach, instruct, discipline, to form by practice, exercise, to bring up, tame and to draw (as oxen).
The word “train” literally means something drawn along behind, a series, or a session of connected things. For example, in Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, and his train filled the temple. The train is the end of the Lord’s robe that is pulled along behind. Also, according to I Kings 10:1-2, the Queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem with a very great train to meet King Solomon. The train that followed her was camels that bare spices, and very much gold and precious stones.
In Genesis 14:14, when Abraham heard that Lot was taken captive, he armed his trained servants and they followed him into battle.
Training, then, is the process of leading or drawing. A soldier is trained in weaponry and tactics. In sports, there is a trainer (coach), not a lecturer. There is “on the job” training to prepare an individual for a vocation. In gardening, there is the training or shaping and forming of young tender plants. If animals can be trained, why can children not be trained for the glory of God? A dog can be trained to safely lead a blind person across a busy intersection and a horse can be trained to pull a plow or wagon, jump a fence or to be ridden. Remember, there is a vast difference between raising a child and training a child.
“The man will be, as the child is trained.”
The Purpose: In the Way He Should Go
We are told to train up a child in the way he should go according to Proverbs 22:6. The word “way” speaks of direction. We are to chart a child’s course before the flesh, world or the devil does. Every child of Adam is born wrong and is walking in the opposite direction of God. This is why they must be trained in God’s way. According to Genesis 18:19, Abraham trained his children in the way of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of two ways, the broad way which leadeth to hell and the narrow way which leadeth to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).
Please understand that mankind has gone the wrong way (Isaiah 53:6). According to Psalm 127:1-5, children are as arrows which must be aimed at the target before released from the bow. As one writer said, “Religious training must not be the border of the garment which might easily be cut off. It must be the pervading substance throughout. Begin as Hannah did, with the dedication of the child to God (I Samuel 1:18).”
“An untrained child means a lawless adult.”
The Promise: And When He Is Old, He Will Not Depart From It
All promises in the Scriptures are for the saints of God. As God gives us children, He also gives us a promise if we perform our duty as parents. The promise is that when he is old, he will not depart from the ways of the Lord. The words “when he is old” simply mean when he is grown, or a mature adult. Please note that it does not refer to his elderly years after a life of rebellion as some think. This verse never mentions a departing from the Lord, but speaks of the opposite. It speaks of not departing from the Lord. Keep in mind, we are not saying that your children are going to be perfect or sinless, but they will follow the Lord’s ways. When God gives us a precious child, He gives a guarantee with them; otherwise, it would be very scary to bring children into this world. If the promise is not fulfilled, the duty has not been performed. Neither God, the church, nor society are to be blamed if the children do not turn out right.
Do not become too busy to be a parent. The things of this world that we accumulate cannot be taken to heaven, but our children can.
The following Scriptures deal with discipline and applying the rod which is a symbol of authority: Proverbs 13:24, 19:18, 23:13-15, and 29:15,17. Dr. Bob Jones Sr. said to a lady who asked him to pray for her son, “My praying won’t take the place of your whipping.”
Religious training is necessary. As someone has stated, “We may begin our own work too late, but we can scarcely begin too soon.” There are too many people reading secular child training books instead of the Bible. We must never put human reasoning above God’s Word. We cannot stress enough the importance of parental responsibility in the home. In ancient Nineveh, archaeologists found, in the ruins of a library, plaques containing the laws of the realm. One law said, “If you fail to teach your child, you and not the child are responsible for the result of your neglect.”
I will leave with you something I found some years ago that sounds a bit humorous and still so true:
~ Recipe for Child Raising ~
1 Cup of Proverbs 22:6
2 Tablespoons of Proverbs 19:13
1 Dash of Proverbs 23:13
1 Teaspoon of Proverbs 3:5
1/2 Cup of Titus 2:3-7
Mix all the ingredients. Add a pound of persistence,
one cup of love, and whip until right consistency.
Please add a pinch of Ephesians 6:4
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523