This sermon was preached by a Pastor friend of mine, during a Youth Conference, at my church, last summer.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Notice that this verse does not say to “teach”, but instead it instructs us to “train”, which means to mold or shape into discipline by practice. You see in order to train our children, we must be a doer of what we are instructing them. Furthermore, in order for us to most sufficiently be a trainer to our children, we must first be introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I was a young boy, my parents would give me instructions. They did not always quote scriptures in every life lesson, but as I grew up and began studying the Bible myself, I now understand that everything they told me was inline with the Word of God. They would tell me things like, “Don’t steal, Don’t meddle with people, Don’t get jealous of your siblings if they have something that you don’t have, Do the right thing. When my siblings and I chose to disobey our parents, the rod was put on us, and this was necessary, because the scripture says we do not truly love our children if we do not instruct and discipline them.(Proverbs 13:24)
So what are some things that we can do to train them up properly?
1. Tell your kids you love them with your words and by your actions.
2. Set boundaries/limits. These will give your child structure, and let them know that there are consequences for committing misdeeds.
3. Lead by example. I’ve heard some people tell their kids to, “Do as I say, not as I do.”, this is doubletalk to the children, because the kids see us saying one thing and acting in another manner; And this could very well result in them mimicking our hypocritical behavior. So if we’d do like we’re supposed to, then our children will be able to mimic better behavior. If our children see us showing love and respect to others, they will show love and respect to others. If our children see us obeying our federal, state, and local laws, then they will do the same
4. Laugh with your children. Our homes should be the happiest location for our kids. Give your kids some quality family time by enjoying activities such as: playing catch, enjoying a movie together, a board game or video game, a fun family trip, ect… God’s Word says that a merry heart doth good medicine(Proverbs 17:22), and we all should be able to enjoy wholesome fun together.
We must allow the Light of Christ to shine through our life, as we train our children. We must train our kids to pray and listen to God’s voice. We must read God’s Word to them and with them. And as we train them in good Christian character, let us not be one way, on Sunday; And find ourselves willfully conducting ourselves contrary to what we’ve instructed our kids, on other days.
Good, loving parents instill true Godly values into their children because they want their kids to grow up to be honorable productive members of society. Of course, there may be times, as they progress in life, when the children may stray away from the training that was placed in them, however God will always bring back to the child’s remembrance the values that were instilled in them. For example, my father used to always tell me not to drink and drive, and I’d always think to myself, “the police aren’t going to stop me.”, but sure enough the day came when I did get stopped: And when it happened, my father’s warning echoed in my mind.
So parents, let’s be that example for our children; And children, let’s obey our parents, grandparents, or whomever God has entrusted to train us up in life.
Written By Pastor Keith Lee