Train Them in the Way They Will Go


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.

I hope you are encouraged today to get back up again, dust yourself off and persevere. This is boot camp after all. It’s not meant to be easy. It’s meant to build muscle change habits and make our kids stronger and fit to face the rest of life.

They are going to get tired, they are going to give up sometimes. They are going to dig their heals in and throw in the towel sometimes. But again. for the the kids too, it’s about coming back tomorrow and starting fresh; A new day.

God bless you as you train your kids, God bless them as they are trained. My greatest challenge has been not to get lazy. I admit since I’ve trained quite a few kids now.  There have been times when I noticed I was instructing more than I was training myself and those were times when the Holy Spirit rebuked me, “You’re a bit flabby in that area yourself Lauren!”

The challenge is to be a trainer who trains alongside their kids.  Not one that just yells from behind or too far ahead, giving instructions. Most times we need to get fitter in Godliness ourselves. I encourage you to muck in, apply the instructions to yourself as well, It will be exhausting, possibly worse for you than for them at times but the result will be a strong Godly family that runs the race together.

Be blessed, be encouraged today. You can do it!

Lots of love,


© Lauren Macdonald. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Macdonald @

2 Comments Add yours

  1. That’s a great mission statement for the family: ‘getting everyone to heaven’. Love it, may the Lord bless you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lauren Macdonald says:

      Thank you, and you as you do the same.

      Liked by 1 person

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