Thursday, October 20, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 1

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 came across this article by JC Ryle entitled The Duties of Parents. In it he has this to say about the Scripture verse above:

But, after all, how little is the substance of this text regarded! The doctrine it contains appears scarcely known, the duty it puts before us seems fearfully seldom practised.  Reader, do I not speak the truth? It cannot be said that the subject is a new one.  The world is old, and we have the experience of nearly six thousand years to help us.  We live in days when there is a mighty zeal for education in every quarter.  We hear of new schools rising on all sides.  We are told of new systems, and new books for the young, of every sort and description.  And still for all this, the vast majority of children are manifestly not trained in the way they should go, for when they grow up to man’s estate, they do not walk with God.  Now how shall we account for this state of things? The plain truth is, the Lord’s commandment in our text is not regarded; and therefore the Lord’s promise in our text is not fulfilled.

Reader, these things may well give rise to great searchings of heart.  Suffer then a word of exhortation from a minister, about the right training of children.  Believe me, the subject is one that should come home to every conscience, and make every one ask himself the question, "Am I in this matter doing what I can?"

I read this and I did have to ask myself if I was indeed in this matter doing what I can to fully regard this text, this promise of my God, this instruction in His Word? Because I want to. I want to be a parent who leads my child in the way God would have them go... not my way, not their way, but His way.

So I am going to dig into this verse with Mr Ryle and I invite you to join me. His article contains 17 points. I plan to dig into one point a day, because the article was quite overwhelming to try to take in all in one bite.

Perhaps you are reading this and you don't have children or you have already raised your children... well these are the words of JC Ryle to you concerning this subject:

  It is a subject that concerns almost all.  There is hardly a household that it does not touch.  Parents, nurses, teachers, godfathers, godmothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, — all have an interest in it.  Few can be found, I think, who might not influence some parent in the management of his family, or affect the training of some child by suggestion or advice.  All of us, I suspect, can do something here, either directly or indirectly, and I wish to stir up all to bear this in remembrance.  

So don't disregard this information no matter what your "stage" is in life. If you live in this world you will have an influence on those around you, especially any children who are watching you, even if you don't want to admit or claim yourself responsible for what ever behavior others see in you. They still see. Little eyes and hearts and minds are always watching and recording and processing.


Train Up A Child Day One

1.  First, then, if you would train your children rightly, train them in the way they should go, and not in the way that they would.

Remember children are born with a decided bias towards evil, and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong.  The mother cannot tell what her tender infant may grow up to be, — tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish he may be any of these things or not, — it is all uncertain.  But one thing the mother can say with certainty: he will have a corrupt and sinful heart. 

It is natural to us to do wrong.  "Foolishness," says Solomon, "is bound in the heart of a child" (Prov. 22:15).  "A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Prov. 29:15).  Our hearts are like the earth on which we tread; let it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds.  If, then, you would deal wisely with your child, you must not leave him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one weak and blind; but for pity’s sake, give him not up to his own wayward tastes and inclinations. 

It must not be his likings and wishes that are consulted.  He knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body.  You do not let him decide what he shall eat, and what he shall drink, and how he shall be clothed.  Be consistent, and deal with his mind in like manner.  Train him in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that he fancies.

If you cannot make up your mind to this first principle of Christian training, it is useless for you to read any further. Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child’s mind; and it must be your first step to resist it.


Oh we hold our newborn babes in our arms and we look into the eyes of this precious, glorious creation of our God and all we can think is how absolutely perfect they are...

We cannot imagine that within that beauty in our arms is a cold, sinful, wicked heart that is inclined to evil and rebellion against everything good, right, and holy. Yet inside this small, weak, infant frame is indeed a decietful heart that left to itself has no bounds on wickedness. 

From the very beginning we need to begin to teach our children the will and the way of God through the Word of God. It is never too soon. I became a wholly surrendered believer when my Shelby was 6 months old. She was drug to precept classes from the time she was 7 months old. She sat in the floor and played while the teacher taught and I believe with all my heart that she soaked up as much as me. Her mind was open and her ears were listening though her hands made her appear to be occupied with toys.

When I was pregnant with my youngest I would sing to her all the time... well actually I just sing around the house all the time period. One of the songs I sang the most in my last pregnancy was "You are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek, You are my all in all..." One day, several years later, while doing the laundry I began singing this song again. My youngest turned to me and said, "Mommy you used to sing that song to me when I was in your tummy!"

Needless to say I was floored to tears...

Teach your children the way of God.
Begin teaching them in the womb, and never stop.
Do not leave them to figure things out for themselves.
I mean how easily do you understand your own wants and desires, and how and why they so contrast with what God says is right, good, and holy? And yet we expect our children to make heads and tails of this on their own?
Our children need us.
Children need us.
Teach them.

The world knows how to teach them how to think.
If we don't teach them how to think, I can guarantee you that the world, that Satan, will.

If you have any doubts of the power of the world on your child's thought process, if you choose to not be purposeful and active in teaching them the will and way of God according to the Word of God... just remember the Holocaust. Hitler knew what he was doing... he went after the children, Propaganda and Children during the Hitler Years.

We need to be proactive in teaching our children instead of just trying to unteach what has already been taught. Your children will either weigh others words and teachings against what you have already taught them or they will weigh what your countered words against what others have first taught (that is if they even think to question what they were taught or remember to share with you what all has been taught). 
If you put your children in public school you have a precious five years to fill their minds and hearts full of a foundation of truth. A precious five years to give them a plumb line. A plumb line that they will have to use to weigh, to line up, the words of teachers and friends. 

Are you doing it?

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God
and of Christ Jesus,
who is to judge the living and the dead,
and by His appearing and His kingdom: 
preach the word;
be ready in season and out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort,
with great patience and instruction. 
For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but wanting to have their ears tickled,
they will accumulate for themselves
teachers in accordance to their own desires,
2 Timothy 4:1-3

No comments:

Post a Comment