Training Up Our Children Properly

Richard Thetford

If we as parents train our children in God's ways, will they stay committed? In the book of Proverbs it says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). While it is true that each individual will ultimately be held accountable before God for his or her actions in life (2 Corinthians 10:5) and no matter what someone learns in life, they still choose whether to do right or wrong, God has said that one will not depart from the right way to go when one is trained. I know of many young people that have abandoned the church and quit serving the Lord after they have left home and the oversight of their parents. Parents will often times say that they do not know what they did wrong. They made sure they came to Bible class and to church services every week. But is that really what God meant when He said to "train up a child in the way he should go?" We can learn from the book of Deuteronomy how intensive godly training must be. "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). These verses clearly show us that proper godly training entails that we talk about God and His word to our children morning, day, and night. He must be our first and primary priority in all that we say and do. No daily action or decision should be made without consulting God's Word and through prayer. Can it truly be said in our family that we are teaching our children constantly and consistently through our own personal example and by studying God's Word with them on a daily basis? Does serving God become our primary goal in life? Think about it. Based on what Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy, chapter 6, are we really training up our children in the ways that Moses instructed the Israelites to train their children? Knowing God, serving God, and living for God was their life. When we and our children get to the point where we truly know God, serve God, and live for God in all we say and do, then it can be said that we are training up our children in the ways that they should go and as a result they will not depart from it. May we all do the very best we can to ensure that we as parents are truly training up our children properly.