“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
One of the greatest gifts you can be blessed with is children. We all love our children immensely, and spend a great deal of time to insure their happiness and well-being. As parents, though, what should our greatest role be in our children’s lives? Are we doing as instructed in Proverbs 22:6?
Let’s first look at the phrase “train up” in the verse. The phrase in the original Hebrew text refers to the actions of a midwife who would dip her finger in crushed dates and place it in a newborn’s mouth to stimulate the baby’s taste, or a thirst, for milk. Based on this analogy, we see to “train up” a child is to create a thirst within him or her. “Create a thirst in a child in the way he should go…”
How do we create this “thirst” in our children? How do we teach them to walk a righteous path? The greatest way is by your Godly example. To be what God called us to be. In Matthew 5:13 we are called the salt of the earth. By being the salt of the earth, we will create in our children a thirst for spiritual things. They will see the Godly example we are trying to be and cling to these things. When you teach your children to walk in faith, they receive the greatest lesson seeing you live it first.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Moses says “And 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.” What we teach our children must first be in our hearts and our ways. Our faith in God is something that should be in all aspects of our lives-not just at worship services or L.I.F.E. groups. All aspects, when you rise up…when you sit down…when you walk in the way. We must teach our children that Jesus Christ should be a part of every aspect of our lives. If we live this, it will create a thirst for faith in our children.
Our children are our greatest treasures. We need to remember that we are raising someone’s spouse and parent. If we train them up in the way they should go, we are insuring that our children are Godly parents and spouses. Be the Godly example that you should be to them. Teach them to walk humbly and in faith. Plant the seeds in them, and watch God grow their “thirst” for Christian living.