Train Them in the Way They Will Go

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

My first child showed signs of his first tantrum half way up the staircase at the age of 9 months. There I was, standing two stairs down, ready to catch him, already a little over 3 months pregnant with my second child.

I was already thinking larger family.

My first thought was…

“Oh my goodness tantrums already!”

My second thought was….

“Whatever I choose to do with tantrums will have to still be manageable when I have the new baby. I will have to train him to be part of a larger family.”

When I thought of the word ‘train’ Proverbs 22:6 popped into my head.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (ESV)

When I looked it up in the NIV bible, later that night, it added even more weight, since it was in fact the ‘first time’ for something.

It says….

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV)

I’m so grateful that verse popped into my head that day. Proverbs 22:6 has been my gift from God. It has been God in my ear and God on my side. It has been my “why” for discipline.

When I’m in the middle of Tantrum Central or Fight City and I would much rather turn my back or walk away or pour a glass of wine or have my very own tantrum Proverbs 22:6 will come to me. When things are quietly (or even very loudly) slipping (or sliding) in the wrong direction and I think “why bother?” Proverbs 22:6 is always my answer. Even if it is after the fact because we failed at the time. I’ll go back, revisit it, when we’re calm, and do the training.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (ESV)

Having the “why” (Proverbs 22:6) from the very beginning of training our kids has helped me persevere with finding the “how”. There is no one “how” because we are all so unique and the “how” changes from child to child and over time. Sometimes the ‘hows’ break down. But the “why” remains and it is what makes me get up, find a new ‘how’ or fix the old one and persevere.

You might take the fast plane, or a combination of trains, planes and automobiles, or even the slow boat, but if you’re determined to go to China you will get to China.

I want to get there. (Not to China, although China is an amazing place.) I want to get all my children to heaven. All of my training is about getting my family to know God for themselves. Preparing them to journey with God through their lives in this world they live in, building their faith and character. Much of it is seed that will not bear fruit for many years.

Sometimes the process is very frustrating and I’m human (very human). But as my husband says, “It’s just a process.”

Having the ‘why’ helps me get up the next day and persevere.

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