Saturday, October 22, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 3

So far in this journey of learning what it means to train up a child we have looked at how important it is for us to teach our children the truth of the Word of God. We have looked at how important it is for us to be purposeful in teaching our children how to think with God's thoughts.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

When God gave us this passage of Scripture He did not give it to tell us that we could never understand Him or His ways, although often that is how many choose to interpret it. He simply is saying you, we, us, me cannot on our own think the way God thinks. We need to trust in His Word not our own thoughts or ways. Our thoughts will not be His thoughts and our ways will not be His ways, that's why He gave us His Word. His Word is filled with His thoughts and His ways. We are to line our thoughts and ways up with His and be guided by His thoughts not our own. And this is how we are to teach our children to think.

We also saw how although our children need to respect and obey us, we are not to bring this about in them through fear and intimidation. We must first be sure that our children fully understand how much we love them with true affection and kindness. This kind of love of course is not gained though giving them everything they want and desire... it is not meant to be a pampering love... it is meant to be a perfecting love. Our children must first understand that they are loved before they will be willing to obey and love back with joyful obedience.

  There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casts out fear,
 because fear involves punishment,
and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 
We love, because He first loved us. 
1 John 4:18-19

So now we move on to point 3 in JC Ryle's, The Duties of Parents

Train Up A Child Day Three

3.  Train your children with an abiding persuasion on your mind that much depends upon you.

Grace is the strongest of all principles.  See what a revolution grace effects when it comes into the heart of an old sinner, — how it overturns the strongholds of Satan, — how it casts down mountains, fills up valleys, — makes crooked things straight, — and new creates the whole man.  Truly nothing is impossible to grace.  Nature, too, is very strong.  See how it struggles against the things of the kingdom of God, — how it fights against every attempt to be more holy, — how it keeps up an unceasing warfare within us to the last hour of life. Nature indeed is strong.
But after nature and grace, undoubtedly, there is nothing more powerful than education.  Early habits (if I may so speak) are everything with us, under God.  We are made what we are by training.  Our character takes the form of that mould into which our first years are cast. 
We depend, in a vast measure, on those who bring us up.  We get from them a colour, a taste, a bias which cling to us more or less all our lives.  We catch the language of our nurses and mothers, and learn to speak it almost insensibly, and unquestionably we catch something of their manners, ways, and mind at the same time. 

Time only will show, I suspect, how much we all owe to early impressions, and how many things in us may be traced up to seeds sown in the days of our very infancy, by those who were about us.  A very learned Englishman, Mr.  Locke, has gone so far as to say: "That of all the men we meet with, nine parts out of ten are what they are, good or bad, useful or not, according to their education."
And all this is one of God’s merciful arrangements.  He gives your children a mind that will receive impressions like moist clay.  He gives them a disposition at the starting-point of life to believe what you tell them, and to take for granted what you advise them, and to trust your word rather than a stranger’s. He gives you, in short, a golden opportunity of doing them good. See that the opportunity be not neglected, and thrown away.  Once let slip, it is gone for ever. 

Beware of that miserable delusion into which some have fallen, — that parents can do nothing for their children, that you must leave them alone, wait for grace, and sit still.  These persons have wishes for their children in Balaam’s fashion, — they would like them to die the death of the righteous man, but they do nothing to make them live his life.  They desire much, and have nothing.  And the devil rejoices to see such reasoning, just as he always does over anything which seems to excuse indolence, or to encourage neglect of means.
I know that you cannot convert your child.  I know well that they who are born again are born, not of the will of man, but of God.  But I know also that God says expressly, "Train up a child in the way he should go," and that He never laid a command on man which He would not give man grace to perform.  And I know, too, that our duty is not to stand still and dispute, but to go forward and obey.  It is just in the going forward that God will meet us.  The path of obedience is the way in which He gives the blessing.  We have only to do as the servants were commanded at the marriage feast in Cana, to fill the water-pots with water, and we may safely leave it to the Lord to turn that water into wine.


I don't know about you, but I honestly can say that I do not know one parent who has ever said, "Yeh well, I just as soon my kid spend eternity in hell." I can't think of one parent that doesn't hope or even expect their child to go to heaven. But how many of these same parents are pro-active in educating their children on how to be saved?

How many choose to never teach their children the Word of God or even put them in a place where it can be taught to them by some else, yet expect them to be good and righteous enough all on their own and just slide right on in to heavens gate all on their own.
How many don't make the Word a priority?
How many don't make church a priority?
How many don't make Christ a priority?

Think about it?

How many churches have turned the children's ministry into playtime and babysitting and have not even bothered to do more than keep the kids out of the way of the adults?

Oh precious ones lay a foundation of education.
Our God is a God of knowledge and He desires His children to grow in the knowledge of Him.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
Hosea 4:6

Perhaps you are reading this and you missed the boat with your own children. Maybe you were not born again in Christ until your own children were grown... it's not over. A parent never stops teaching their children. You teach them by your own obedience to the Word. You can lead them by example even when you are old and they have children of their own.

I know that is only by the grace of God that He saved me when He did. I thank God that He saved me in enough time to teach my children His ways, because I know left to myself... I never would have. I would have just hoped for heaven like many others. Therefore, I cannot ever condemn a parent for missing the boat, but I will encourage and exhort you to get on the boat now!

Teach your grandkids.
Teach the children in your neighborhood.
Teach in the nursery or in the children's ministry.
Make known the way of salvation.
Make it known to all who will sit and listen.

then teach them the statutes and the laws,
and make known to them
the way in which they are to walk
and the work they are to do.
Exodus 18:20

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