Part 2- So you’re ready. You know that you want to train your child in the ways of God, but what exactly does that mean? How does one do that? We’ve established the fact that first you must start. That beginning point doesn’t begin with an action but inside you.
In Jeremiah God promises “ And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)
We can’t hold back. We need to be wholeheartedly committed to raising Godly men and women. We can’t be divided or wimpy or ‘on’ when it’s convenient. If we’re going to give our best to God – and to our children – then we have to be all in.
With that decided, it’s time to take action.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us to ‘train’ our children in the way they should go. What exactly does that mean, other than the noisy mode of transportation chugging along some tracks?
Dictionary.com defines train as “to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction” and “to make (a person) fit by proper exercise, diet, practice, etc., as for an athletic performance.” Our children may not need to wrestle their way to God, but we can instruct them in the ways of worship.
The thing is that small children – and, I suspect, big ones, too – learn best by example. They’re going to care more about the actions that we take than the words that we speak. If we want them to follow Jesus wholeheartedly as adults, when they are free to make their own decisions, then we need to show them that we are choosing to follow hard after Him now, as adults ourselves.
(This is not to say that they won’t ever make a bad decision or won’t walk away for a time – only that this is the way to make our best effort to follow Proverb 22:6.)
What actions can you take on your own to be ready to follow God when you have an audience? Here are a few ideas:
• Pray. God doesn’t require anything fancy, and prayer can take many different forms, but talk to God on a regular basis. Remember to thank Him for His blessings.
• Study your Bible. This may seem impossible, but there are many ways to learn His word even if you’ve never studied it before.
• Connect with a Bible-believing church. You may already be in one, or you may need to do some searching. This is another step to pray about, but God never intended for us to walk alone. We are meant to worship, grow, and serve together. Ask God where that place is for your family.
• Find a mentor. This might be especially important if your Christian walk is fairly new to you, or if you are unfamiliar with the above action steps. Your mentor should be someone of the same gender as you who is further along in his/her Christian walk and parenting journey. This person should be willing to meet with you occasionally to discuss questions you may have and should be willing to pray for you and your children.
Here is where we start: with our hearts. With our own walk. We cannot lead our children if we are not already walking on the path ahead of them. Begin – or plan to further – your walk. Only then can we be prepared to train our children.
Need some ideas for how to study your Bible? Visit www.e3ministrygroup.com/blog
Are you getting started on this journey? With which step do you want to start?