Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Training our Children

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
I love the baby stage when you can put them down in a spot, leave the room for a minute and when you return, they are still in that same place. When our baby girl was this age (around 3 months old), I had set her on the bed and remembered I needed to get something. So I asked our 4 year old daughter to "watch her" for me. Well, it turns out our baby was a bit more squirmy than I thought and she proceeded to wiggle right off the bed. I ran back into the room when I heard the screaming. There was the baby on the floor and my 4 yr old standing there with a horrified look on her face as she "watched her."
At this point, I am so thankful for that little voice of the Holy Spirit that reminded me she was only 4 and that she had done exactly what I asked. She had watched her baby sister.
This was a teachable moment for me and our daughter.
Part of our job as Moms (parents) is to train our children in the way they should go. The Bible refers to our children as arrows (Psalm 127:4-5) and we are the sportsman who is shooting the arrow. We need to make sure the feathers are on correctly. We need to make sure the arrow is straight. We need to make sure we know our target. We need to take careful aim. After we release, it is all up to God. So we pray.
One thing to remember is that no matter what, we are releasing arrows. It is only by taking the time, lifting up the prayers, searching the scriptures for wisdom, and teaching our children His ways that we are aiming at the target that glorifies God. If we hurry through these childhood years running from this lesson to that sporting event, to that social event, and leaving them with others to care for - then we are denying our children the gift of training. We are neglecting to take careful aim of that arrow and it will end up in the mud.

This is a delicate process. It takes time. Are you spending time with your wee ones?
Are you teaching them to love others? We are all born sinful and selfish and this just gets uglier with age. Mark 12:31 The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Are you teaching them to respect their elders (this includes you)? Or do they interrupt your conversations and correct other adults? Leviticus 19:32 “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.

Are you teaching them to use their time wisely? Do they spend any time serving others? Do they have a list of chores to complete? What happens when you arrive home from the grocery store? Do your children come running to help put groceries away? Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

Are you training your children to memorize scripture? Psalm 119:11 says I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Memorizing scripture, hiding it in our hearts, helps to prevent us from sinning against God. What could be more valuable?

The world will pull at you and try to keep you busy, but resist this temptation and spend the time with your children. They need you. All that other stuff can wait. 1 John 2:15

Start when they are young. Be diligent. And pray for strength. You'll need it. It is difficult and frustrating to make this investment, but it is SO worth it!

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

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  1. I loved (and needed!) this post! :) I've been having a hard time with my 5yo "step"daughter and I secretly gave up on training her. This was such a sweet reminder to run the race, to keep going and press on! :) thank you!!

  2. I love the name of your blog! Thanks for the child training encouragement. The need to encourage ourselves to do the best job possible never ends!


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