"Training A Child"
September 17, 2012
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
It's been a good many years since Pam and I had to hire a babysitter.
Still, from what we've been told, sitters and daycare cost a bundle. We can readily understand why some parents, if they can, bring their little ones to work with them. After all, nobody can replace mother or father for a child.
Of course, there are times when mother and father ought to be replaced. For example, in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, there is a man and woman who are bringing their little one along as they've been committing armed robberies.
This leads me to wonder, can we reverse the thought from the book of Proverbs? I'm curious. If you train up a child in the way he shouldn't go, when he is old, will he still cling to that way? When the Bible says, "the Lord visits the sins of the iniquities of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation" (see Numbers 14:17-19), it indicates that such might be the case.
This is why this devotion urges parents to be God's influence for spiritual good in the lives of their children. That's far better than being negative or fashionably neutral authority figures.
Think about it. Parents don't strive for neutrality when it comes to encouraging their children to eat a balanced meal or getting proper rest. They don't say, "I'm going to wait until my children are old enough to decide for themselves if they wish to be potty-trained." We don't strive for neutrality when it comes to teaching our children how to cross the street, or avoiding eating things poisonous, or jumping off a house roof.
In their children's relationship with the Savior, parents need to be a positive, powerful force that God has indicated they ought to be.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we pray that parents may be and do all You wish in the lives of their little ones. Let their leadership be for good and not for evil. This I pray in the Name of the Savior, the only One who loves our children more than we. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries