Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
This almost sounds like an awesome promise, doesn’t it? A promise that says, “Lead your kids to salvation and they will stick with Christ forever.” Yes, that would be an awesome promise. But that’s not what this verse is saying.
Each person is responsible for working out his or her salvation with the Lord (Philippians 2:12). This includes our children.
Mommas, we can not “make” our babies be saved.
No matter how bad we want to. We simply can’t make them follow Christ.
But that’s not the end of the story. We do have great influence in the lives of our kiddos and we can train them up in the way they should go.
The original Hebrew for train up has to do with teaching our children manners and helping them to form good habits. And guess what? We can teach our kids good manners and guide them to form awesome habits. Habits that will not be easily broken. Habits that will become instinctive. Habits that will point them to Jesus.
Knowing this, let’s be intentional about the habits we help our children to form.
Habits like brushing their teeth, making their beds and saying please and thank you are good.
Habits like opening their Bibles daily, showing grace and practicing forgiveness, and being thankful even when life is rotten are even better.
Training up our children and helping them to form habits takes time. It takes patience — with them and with ourselves. It takes grace — for them and for ourselves. And it takes the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I encourage you to spend sometime in prayer today, asking the Holy Spirit which habits you need to begin training your children to form.
Here are a few habits I hope to train my children up in, starting today:
- To respond with a soft answer even when someone, especially an annoying younger sibling, is getting under your skin.
- To recite 2 Timothy 1:7 when fear starts to rear its head.
- To remember Psalm 139:14 when insecurity starts to creep in.
- To calmly voice frustration instead of punching. (Doesn’t every 3-year old need to form this habit?)
What about you? What habits would you like to see formed in your children? How are you going to train them up to form in these habits. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment and let me know how they will help point your babies to Jesus.
This post was written while reading Quietly Through the Bible. Quietly Through is a 2-year Bible reading plan that takes you through the Old Testament once in two years and the New Testament twice. A reading plan may not sound like it’s up your ally, but I encourage you to check it out. You may be surprised.
Only by grace,