Theme of the Week: Family: We All Have One
Bible Verse: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 22:1-16
Your few years with your kids are a life-shaping opportunity. It might feel, right now, as though these high-commitment, child-rearing years will never end. But they will, and soon. Right now is your moment for enduring impact. There is more at stake for your child than getting into the best schools and the best sports and the best jobs. Your child has an eternal destiny. God has called you to train up your child to go to Heaven. That is ultimately “the way he should go.” How do you help your child get there?
The word translated “train up” means “dedicate.” Dedicate your child to Christ. Do not raise your child for the American Dream. Warn your child against the American Dream. It is an easy way to Hell. Your parental role is to raise your child to be gung-ho for Christ. The Hebrew word translated “train up” is related to an Arabic verb that was used of rubbing the palate of a newborn child with a date mixture, to get the child to suck. It means to accustom a child to a taste and to motivate the child to take it in. And the best way for you to influence your child in that way is for you to be a dedicated Christian yourself.
Children sense hypocrisy immediately. But they also know sincerity. If you want your children to be passionate for Christ, let them see that passion in you. You dedicate your child to Christ by dedicating yourself to Christ so enthusiastically that your child tastes how good it is and wants more. Francis Schaeffer wrote:
One of the greatest injustices we do to our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity today is not conservative, but revolutionary. To be conservative today is to miss the whole point, for conservatism means standing in the flow of the status quo. … [W]e must teach the young to be revolutionaries, revolutionaries against the status quo.1
As our children enter young adulthood especially, they learn to love that revolutionary spirit and passion and boldness. What a joy it is, as a parent, to be the one to give it to them, for the sake of Jesus Christ!
1 Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the 20th Century (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1970), pp. 81, 82.
Taken from Proverbs: Wisdom That Works by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., © 2012. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, crossway.org.
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