Bumper Sticker Kids?
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6
Surely, you have seen a my-child-is-awesome bumper sticker…“My Child was Born on the Honor Roll!” or “My Homeschooler can Outspell Your Publik Skool Kid”, etc.! Have you ever seen one that says, “My child is growing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man”? (Luke 2:52)
Parenting is a great calling from God. But when things go bad we often turn to the promise of Proverbs 22:6. What does it mean to “train up a child in the way he should go?” We are always training our children; the aim of our parenting matters a great deal.
As a child, I remember my dad teaching me to train my hair! If I consistently styled my hair the same way day after day soon it would begin to stay that way. Obviously, that is no longer a concern for me! One thing is sure, if you leave hair to make its own styling decisions it will look “interesting.” Training hair and children is never accidental.
Proverbs 22:1 gives a clear target for training up children: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” What are the “great riches” you want for your child? Is a good name really better than “silver or gold” (academic success, college admission, or athletic achievement)?
Training up a child with a good name who does not depart from faith requires aiming them towards Christ-like character. Character development must always precede “career” development.
A baseball pitcher trains to focus on where he wants to throw the ball rather than where he doesn’t; we need a biblical target to aim our children. “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” (Psalm 127:4) Parenting is God’s idea and he has given you great eternal influence when you get on your knees and in the Word of God. It is no accident when you throw a strike or hit the bullseye.
Training our children is an intentional daily calling. There are not 3 easy steps for raising godly children, but every step you take towards Christ with your child counts; run to Jesus together! It is hard to overstate the blessing of children who grow up to love the Lord and train their own children to love Jesus!
Aim and Train!