Friday, October 21, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 2

Train Up A Child Day Two

2.  Train up your child with all tenderness, affection, and patience.  I do not mean that you are to spoil him, but I do mean that you should let him see that you love him.

 Love should be the silver thread that runs through all your conduct.  Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, — these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, — these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart. 

Few are to be found, even among grown-up people, who are not more easy to draw than to drive.  There is that in all our minds which rises in arms against compulsion; we set up our backs and stiffen our necks at the very idea of a forced obedience.  We are like young horses in the hand of a breaker: handle them kindly, and make much of them, and by and by you may guide them with thread; use them roughly and violently, and it will be many a month before you get the mastery of them at all.
Now children’s minds are cast in much the same mould as our own.  Sternness and severity of manner chill them and throw them back.  It shuts up their hearts, and you will weary yourself to find the door.  But let them only see that you have an affectionate feeling towards them, — that you are really desirous to make them happy, and do them good, — that if you punish them, it is intended for their profit, and that, like the pelican, you would give your heart’s blood to nourish their souls; let them see this, I say, and they will soon be all your own. 

But they must be wooed with kindness, if their attention is ever to be won.  And surely reason itself might teach us this lesson.  Children are weak and tender creatures, and, as such, they need patient and considerate treatment.  We must handle them delicately, like frail machines, lest by rough fingering we do more harm than good.  They are like young plants, and need gentle watering, — often, but little at a time.

We must not expect all things at once.  We must remember what children are, and teach them as they are able to bear.  Their minds are like a lump of metal — not to be forged and made useful at once, but only by a succession of little blows.  Their understandings are like narrow-necked vessels: we must pour in the wine of knowledge gradually, or much of it will be spilled and lost.  "Line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little," must be our rule.  The whetstone does its work slowly, but frequent rubbing will bring the scythe to a fine edge. 

Truly there is need of patience in training a child, but without it nothing can be done.

Nothing will compensate for the absence of this tenderness and love.  A minister may speak the truth as it is in Jesus, clearly, forcibly, unanswerably; but if he does not speak it in love, few souls will be won.  Just so you must set before your children their duty, — command, threaten, punish, reason, — but if affection be wanting in your treatment, your labour will be all in vain.

Love is one grand secret of successful training.  Anger and harshness may frighten, but they will not persuade the child that you are right; and if he sees you often out of temper, you will soon cease to have his respect.  A father who speaks to his son as Saul did to Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:30), need not expect to retain his influence over that son’s mind.
Try hard to keep up a hold on your child’s affections.  It is a dangerous thing to make your children afraid of you. Anything is almost better than reserve and constraint between your child and yourself; and this will come in with fear.  Fear puts an end to openness of manner; — fear leads to concealment; — fear sows the seed of much hypocrisy, and leads to many a lie. 

There is a mine of truth in the Apostle’s words to the Colossians: "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged" (Col. 3:21).  Let not the advice it contains be overlooked.

~ JC Ryle


When I was nineteen years old I discovered myself to be pregnant out of wedlock. I had discovered this a month or so after I had finally ended the unhealthy relationship that I was involved in. I did not know what to do, but I did know who I could go to. 

I was blessed with parents that knew how to discipline me, but also knew how to love me. I have never in all my life ever doubted my parents' love for me. I have heard the angry voice of both my mother and father yet even through the few well deserved belt whippings, the multiple groundings, the priviledge removals, and the countless verbal rebukes to straighten up I always felt loved.

I hope and pray that my girls know this secure love from me as well.

At barely nineteen and pregnant I knew that the first ones I should and could go to were my parents. Now I was a Daddy's girl and I couldn't stand the thought of the look of disappointment that I knew would have to cross my Daddy's face, so I went to my Momma first and let her break the news to Daddy. She was my advocate, as she should be. That's what Mom's are for...

I remember the anxiousness that I felt when I wondered what my Daddy would do when he saw me after he had heard and processed my situation. But my Daddy loved me. He was hurt. He was disappointed, but he loved me still. 

My parents raised me with tenderness, kindness, and affection. I had a healthy fear and respect for my parents, but I was not afraid of them. So even though I had my moments of lying and not sharing all the info in order to try to get by with things that I knew they would not approve of... I never lied out of the fear of speaking openly with them about my opinions, thoughts, or questions. And when caught red-handed and called upon to give an account I didn't fear giving the truth and taking the consequences (even though I would rather have not gotten caught, lol).    

The simple truth is that the children in our lives need to know that we love them regardless.

Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.
Proverbs 27:5

The children in our lives need affection, they need attention. It is not a want, it is indeed a need. It is so needed that they will choose negative attention over no attention every time. They will choose forced discipline for purposeful disobedience over no affection every time. Even worse, many children will also accept flat-out abuse over being ignored. Oh how they need our love.

Look around you. Look in the eyes of the children around you. Pay attention. Know that we adults must be sincere. We must speak and be truth to the children in our lives. We cannot fake affection. They are not stupid and they cannot be fooled, they know if you truly have affection for them or if you are just dealing with their presence. A child's spirit can be quite sensitive to the true character and motives of an adult. Love them with sincerity.

Love the children in your lives with the 1 Corinthians 13 love...
Be patient
Be kind
Be humble
Be the adult
Be unselfish
Be stable
Be forgiving
Be the example of Christ 
Bear their tantrums
Believe they can be mighty men and women of God
Hope in their future in Christ
Endure their immaturity, their personality, their lack of understanding
Love them in spite of themselves

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