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.
We can't make our kids follow Christ, but that's not the end of the story. #quietlyreminded #quietlythrough Click To Tweet
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.
Let’s be intentional about the habits we help our children to form. #quietlyreminded #quietlythrough Click To Tweet
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,
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You may enjoy these link ups as well: Chasing Community, Christian Blogger Linkup, Fresh Market Friday, Heart Encouragement, RaRaLinkUp, #Tea&Word, Warriors in the Word
All these little things do add up. As a mom of now-grown children, I’m grateful for all the days we had together to memorize scripture and practice using nice words and asking God and each other for forgiveness. 🙂 Keep up the good work! While there are no guarantees for perfect outcomes, the Lord will bless you in the practice.
Thanks, Lisa. I’ve also noticed that as I’m intentional about training up certain behaviors and habits in my children I’m more aware of my own. That is a definitely a blessing. 🙂
My goodness, looking back I can see so many habits that were formed well, and so many that I wish I would have done a better job instilling. My two oldest are adults and my youngest is 15, and it’s so much easier to build habits when they’re younger. Good for you for making this a priority while they’re young. One thing I’ve always remembered too, is the saying “habits are caught not taught.” Of course we need to teach them these things, but that was always a good reminder to me that what they saw me doing is what they’d grow up to do. (In some ways I pray that’s true and in other ways not so much, *smile.* 🙂 ) — Thanks for sharing, Kelli. ((hug))
I completely get the “habits are caught not taught” thing. I often see my worst habits forming in my children. That’s why we are being intentional about teaching my oldest to respond with a soft answer. Neither she nor I are very good at it…yet. 🙂
This is good, Kelli. I am desperately praying God helps me with me so I can know I was at least modeling good behavior and dependence on Him. I know none of us are perfect, but I desire to do the best I can. Most days I feel way short of that..but here’s to big faith and believing He will finish what he started in me! (and in us all!) PS: We are trying to get over a rather loud rebuttal way of replying in our home too. It is like a domino effect. And then just like today, I ran outside like a child and started playing with the dog…and the kids stopped arguing and stared out the window at me like I was nuts. They laughed and 2 of them joined me so I guess it worked haha!
That is great, Meg. I need to think of a go-to solution for changing the tone when tension starts to build. And make it a habit. 😉
Kelli, great post, I know that there are things that I learned from my parents that I still do today and things I’ve taught my children that I see them still doing! It’s a good reminder that how we raise our children matter! Thanks for linking up with #TuneInThursday this week. See you next time!