Proverbs 22:6 — Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it (NIV).
Have you ever trained for anything before? Maybe you went through some training courses at a new job, or perhaps you trained for a marathon or for some other sport. If you’ve ever been in the military, you certainly know what it means to train.
Normally a person goes through training in order to learn something he didn’t know before, or to be able to do something he couldn’t do before. However, if the trainee does not receive proper instruction from the trainer, he won’t be any better off than he was to begin with.
I once had a basketball coach who was not very good at preparing us for games. Our practices were generally unproductive. And when game time came around, we usually had not received proper instruction from our coach. The final score reflected our team’s incompetence, and we were frequently left frustrated. You may know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s important for you to understand this. I work with elementary and junior high kids every day, and I believe a lot of them are frustrated because their parents are sending mixed signals (or the wrong signals altogether). God expects parents to train their children to live godly lives and to promote proper behavior. This process starts at birth and goes at least until they move out on their own. You must begin to instill godly values and morals into your children when they are young and remain consistent as long as they live under your roof.
Heidi and I try to be firm, fair, and consistent in every area of our lives, especially when it comes to raising our boys. Training someone is hard work, but so is being trained. Don’t make an already difficult task even harder on your kids by being inconsistent. Set boundaries and stick to them. Spend time reading the Bible and praying as a family. Train them to do what’s right because they may not figure it out on their own.
Ephesians 6:4 — Do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (NASB).
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