Let’s talk about children today. Go ahead and open up your Bible to Proverbs 22:6. This is a verse that we have all heard before, but, if you haven’t highlighted it or underlined it, now would be a good time to do that.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
I love the imagery of Scripture, because as I read verses in Ephesians and Matthew and again in Proverbs, we read over and over again that it is the parents responsibility to train up their children. It’s not the responsibility of the school, the pastor, the church, community (or the village); the responsibility rests solely on the parent.
That is an incredible task!
One of my favorite verses is Luke 6:40. It says, “When a student is fully trained, he will be like his teacher.” There is probably another way you can look at that. When a child is fully trained, he’ll be like his mother or his father: he will be like his parents. That’s why we say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It really is true.
We need to take our job as parents seriously and train our children in the way they should go. The Bible says that the person who does that is blessed. Need more convincing? We read in Psalms and again in Jeremiah that the person who follows the Lord and obeys Him is like a “tree that is planted by a stream of water who yields its fruit in season,whose leaf doesn’t wither, and whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1) Isn’t this what we desire for our children?
If you are struggling to get your children to obey you today, I want to encourage you! I know it’s hard, but keep at it! Training your children is more important than schoolwork, it is more important than school, actually. Training your children is more important than that grocery trip you need to make; it’s more important than that phone call you need to make. It trumps playing on the Internet.
A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a friend who was struggling with disrespect from her 12 year old son. We were going back and forth exchanging ideas and perspectives. Twelve years old can be tough; it’s is an age where the discipline method that we used to use doesn’t always work anymore. My friend was realizing that her son was coming into a different season of his childhood. All I could do was pray for her, because I didn’t have the answers she needed. This seasoned, capable mom was navigating the sometimes rough waters of parenting. We all need to learn to do it. Our kids are counting on it.
It’s humbling (but also freeing) to realize we don’t have all the answers. Be encouraged, busy mom. You can do this job you’ve been given. God says He calls us to the task that we have have before us. In other words, He knew, even before she even had that little boy, that she was the perfect mother for him. It’s an awesome thing to realize that our children have been entrusted to us.
Entrusted. It’s a powerful word. It means we are being trusted with something precious. Moms who see the power of being entrusted with children love them by giving them boundaries, by teaching them, by disciplining them, by correcting them and by giving them unconditional love.
Often, it’s easier to just “let things go.” After all, parenting is exhausting. It’s a marathon of never-ending questions, refereeing, guiding and forgiving. Do the harder thing, mom. Don’t give up on the oh-so-daily job of redirecting and correcting and guiding your children. The results of your investment will be worth it.
Love your kids, busy mom. But remember—you’re the mom.
Be the mom.
Love and train up your kids.