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Aim To Train

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Proverbs 22:6 ESV
6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:
To teach parents the importance of training our children in the way they should go throughout their lives.
I remember Gerald Stow preaching a message titled “The Two Ways of a Child” during a Tennessee Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference. His points were “The Way a Child Could Go” and “The Way a Child Should Go.” It is unfortunate to know many children are growing up without the proper parental training in the home. It is even more heartbreaking when we know children who did not receive the proper training they needed in Christian homes. Hopefully, this message will encourage each of us to do our best to train our children and grandchildren properly so they will be prepared to live in a very unchristian world.
Let’s look at the Hebrew meanings of a few words in our text before we get into the meat of the message. The Hebrew word for train means to dedicate. Train means to initiate or early instruct. The way literally means his way in which he was intended to go.
The way literally means his way in which he was intended to go.
Early training helps the child learn to walk the way in which he should go, especially as it relates to Jesus. Parents should aim to train children under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the solid teachings of the Word of God. It is extremely important to lay a solid spiritual foundation during the early and most impressionable years of their lives.

Every parent who truly loves God and his child will give himself to the service of God in so raising his child, with the prayerful hope that, when he is called to take his hands off and release his child into the world as an adult, the child will indeed ‘not depart from’ his God and His ways (Eph. 6:4).

Let’s see if we can learn some things to help us aim to train our children.
It always saddens my heart when I hear parents degrading their children. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I have listened to a mom or dad, sometimes both, tell their child they are dumb or stupid. It is even worse when these comments are made in front of their friends or family members. More often than not, it is very obvious how negative comments destroy the child’s self worth. Negative and degrading words open wounds and leave scars that last a lifetime.
Children need encouragement to build healthy self-esteem and positive attitudes. There is nothing wrong with pointing out the wrong things children do, but it must be done properly and in a positive way. Always try to build something stronger anytime you tear something down. We need to use the Word of God to encourage them and teach them early about the promises God has made to and for each believer.
Every parent should aim to train by encouragement.
The U.S. Department of Education website shows how much Americans spend per student to educate children in our public schools. “Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States amounted to $620 billion in 2012–13, or $12,296 per public school student enrolled in the fall (in constant 2014–15 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index).” I may be wrong in my assumption, even so, I can never remember anyone complaining about the amount of money we spend to educate our children. One exception might be the cost of a college tuition. Let’s put this into proper perspective for a moment. How much do you think we spend per student each year to give our children the proper spiritual education they need? In all honesty, most of us may not want to admit it, but we place more value in the secular education of our children than in the spiritual education of our children. Perhaps it is not out of line to think our secular education will have little or no value when we leave this earth, but our spiritual education will last through all of eternity.
What is your parental aim for giving your children the spiritual education they need? Our children need to learn God’s direction for their lives and God’s Word is the only way to learn God’s direction.
Deuteronomy 6:6–7 ESV
6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:20–25 ESV
20 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23 And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’
Dad’s, God has given to us the responsibility of being the spiritual leaders in our homes.
Ephesians 6:4 ESV
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Mom’s, I would encourage you to be the spiritual leader if your husband refuses to accept his God given responsibility. The most important education our children will get in life is not the secular education; the most important education our children will receive will be learning the foundational principles from the Word of God, things like loving our neighbors, honesty, integrity, a strong work ethic and many other life principles.
The lessons we teach our children when they are young children will continue to guide them throughout the remainder of their lives. This is true if the child learns to follow Jesus or depend upon their own choices. Everyone has or will make choices dependent upon the world’s standards. We need to teach our children how to live according to God’s standards. There is no greater education in life than learning God’s Word and how to apply those teachings in our every lives. There is no way we could ever put a dollar value on receiving a spiritual education, especially when it is taught by the parents in the home. The home and the church should be partners in giving our children the spiritual education they need to live in a world that continues to move further and further away from God and His Word.
Every parent should aim to train by education.
Before my dad accepted Jesus as his Savior, he always tried to teach me during my childhood years the difference between right and wrong. The problem was not so much with his teaching, but his example. He would tell me one thing and do another. I began following in his footsteps during my early teens. The sad part of my late teens and the beginning of my young adult years was doing things far worse than my dad. I am very thankful he accepted Jesus as his Savior and lived the remainder of his life for the Lord. He became a great example of reading his Bible each day, praying on his knees before going to bed each night, being faithful to the Lord’s church teaching Sunday School, lay preaching and was consistent in sharing the gospel with the lost. He and my mom were highly respected Christians in the church and the community.
We fail in our aim to train when our testimony contradicts our teaching. Most parents are heroes in the eyes of their children, therefore, we must train by example. We must be sure to teach by example because most things are more caught than taught. The things we teach our children must mean enough for us to practice each day of our everyday lives.
Every parent should aim to train by example.
Just like everything else in life, we must have a plan for raising our children. We must have an aim to train, especially when they are young and during their most impressionable years.
Believer’s Bible Commentary B. The Righteous Lifestyle Exalted (16:1–22:16)

Henry Ward Beecher observes:

It is not hard to make a child or a tree grow right if you train them when they’re young, but to make them straighten out after you’ve allowed things to go wrong is not an easy matter.

I can remember making comments about the need for a book on raising children. I have often said, “It is a shame children didn’t come with an instruction booklet.” The hospital gave us a book titled “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care” by Dr. Benjamin Spock. Much later in life, I learned we had the best book on child care and raising children properly. The Book is called The Holy Bible. It is filled with principles on how to raise children and many examples of those who did or did not raise their children right.
It is never too late to teach our children how to live their lives by God’s Word. It is never too late to point our children to Jesus for salvation. It is never too late to teach our children how to serve the Lord and glorify Him with our lives, however, you must have an aim to train to do these things.
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Are your comments toward your child negative or positive? Are you degrading and destroying or affirming and building up your child. It is a great day to begin encouraging your children and building healthy self-esteem and positive attitudes.
What is your parental aim for giving your children the spiritual education they need? It is a great day to begin teaching your children God’s direction for their lives from the solid principles of God’s Word.
What is your parental aim for giving your children the spiritual education they need?
What kind of Christian example are you setting for your children? Does your example confirm what you teach? It is a great day to begin practicing what you preach in front of your children.
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