To Train or Not to Train

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To Train or Not to Train

In II Tim. 1:5, we find that Timothy had a godly heritage in his grandmother, as well as his mother.  Paul was convinced of that same godly heritage also abiding within Timothy.  It is apparent that Timothy’s dear mother was diligent in training him and instructing him in righteousness.

Today I am going to contrast the differences between training and not training our children in the Lord.  I found it to be an eye-opener for myself.

Prov. 5:23 tells us that a lack of discipline will cause one to die or to be led astray by his own folly (stupidity, carelessness, foolishness).
Prov. 15:10 tells us that stern discipline awaits the one who leaves the path, and the one who hates correction will die.
Prov. 17:21 tells us that having a fool (idiot, imbecile, blockhead) for a child brings grief to his father (or mother).  There is no joy for the parent of a fool.
— I guess another way to look at training and instructing in righteousness is to see it as an added benefit for ourselves.  I know that I want my child to be a joy to me, so I need to be diligent in instructing her in righteousness.
Prov. 17:25  A foolish child brings bitterness to the one who bore him/her.  — Can you think of a person who has become bitter, due in part to having a grown child who has turned out to be foolish?
Prov. 19:18 Tells us that we are to discipline our children and not to be a willing party to their death.  — The implication here is that if you don’t discipline your children, you are a willing party to their death.  Now this could refer to their physical death, but also to their spiritual death.
Prov. 29:15  tells us that a child left to himself/herself disgraces (discredits, strips of honor, shames, disregards) his mother.

Now let’s see what can happen if we follow the Lord’s command to instruct them in righteousness.
Prov. 2:1-5  If we teach them to store God’s commands in their hearts and to turn toward wisdom, we are helping them to understand the fear of the Lord.  We are also helping them to find the knowledge of God.
Prov. 3:1-2  If we teach them to hold the Word in their heart, it will prolong their life by many years as well as bring prosperity (accomplishment, victory, success).
Prov. 6:21-22 If our children will learn to bind God’s Word upon their heart and to fasten them around their neck, God’s Word will guide them, and when they sleep, His Word will watch over them.  When they awaken, the Word will speak to them.
Prov. 6:23  They will find that God’s teaching is a light and that the corrections of discipline are the way to life.
Prov. 19:18  The inference here is that we need to discipline them while they are young, (while there is still hope).
Prov. 22:15  The rod of correction (not punishment) will drive away the folly that is bound up in the heart of our children.  — Punishment is when we react out of anger, rather than responding to the situation with emotions which are controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Prov. 23:15  If we raise our children to have a wise heart, then our hearts will also be glad.
Prov. 23:16  When our children speak what is right (precise, accurate, certain), our inmost being will rejoice.  — Have you had times when you’ve been in public, observing the ungodly behavior of others, and suddenly you hear wisdom coming from the mouth of your child regarding that situation?  What joy that brings!
Prov. 23:24  If our children grow up to be righteous men/women, then we will have great joy.  A wise child will bring delight to us.
Prov. 29:15  The rod of correction will impart wisdom (sense, reason, clear thinking, good judgment, sanity, knowledge, tact, stability, solidity). — I know of individuals who refused to spank their children.  Now these children are grown and they are constantly getting into some kind of trouble.  It appears to me that the parents don’t even want the children to come visit because they have to worry about what valuables are going to come up missing, etc.

Father, You have given us much to do in training our children.  You know how tired we can become over the course of the day, and when we are tired, it desperately clouds our judgment.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!  We recognize that we cannot do it alone.  Thank You for not calling us to even try and do it alone.  Help us in our failings and shortcomings.  Help us in our short fuses, our busyness, our lack of patience, our intolerance, our selfishness.  Help us to grant mercy, grace, and love to those with whom You have entrusted to our care.  Help us to lay down our fleshly desires that we may fulfill your calling upon each of us as parents.  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller


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