Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
We have all heard that scripture and use it frequently around Mother’s Day or Father’s Day and, as a parent, I hold onto that promise for unsaved children. BUT, I believe we need to dig a bit deeper into its meaning. Does this mean the children in our family are our only responsibility? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
What about spiritual children? This has nothing to do with age but more to do with spiritual maturity. Are we, as “older” and hopefully wiser Christians, training new believer’s “in the way they should go”? You don’t have to sign up to be a mentor to a particular person to fulfill this. Have you taken someone under your wing to guide them? That is training also.
Do you set an example? Or better yet, what kind of example are you setting? What kind of example are you setting with your words? Your actions? Your dress? Your attitude? Your priorities? Can a complete stranger see Jesus in you from ALL of these areas or are there little glimpses of Jesus mixed with a whole lot of the world? What is more important to us, pleasing Jesus or fitting in with our peers? Do we want to follow the latest trends and fashions, or do we want Jesus to shine out of our every pore? We are told to separate ourselves from the world. We are IN the world but should not be OF the world. Are we training new believers’ how to separate themselves from the world?
EVERYTHING we do, say, and are, should point straight to the cross. My mom used to say the only sermon someone may hear is by watching you. I remember a time in my life that I had taken a new position as the principal’s secretary in a school. Having been raised in the church, I had recently recommitted my life to Jesus and was doing my best to follow His direction. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the principal I was working for was a relatively new believer. Shortly after I started working there, Satan threw some pretty significant roadblocks into my life. I will forever believe that God placed me there as a witness to the principal. She knew about the struggles I was facing but she was also able to see how I chose to handle those struggles with Jesus in the midst as my anchor. God was using me to teach her or “train” her about having Jesus as your anchor.
Even though this is written from a woman’s perspective, it is ALL our responsibilities to “train up the children”. The Bible tells the older men to train up the younger men and the older women to train up the younger women. Lord, help each one of us to train YOUR children in the way You want them to go. My prayer is that we each open our eyes and ears to the leading of Holy Spirit to eliminate anything in our life that may be a stumbling block to anyone.