Monday, January 18, 2010

Train up a child....Week 1

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Have you ever worried about this verse? On one hand you believe God keeps His promises, yet you feel compelled to justify this verse, just in case your kids don't turn out right. I have sweated and prayed over this very thing many, many times since we found out we were expecting our first child, Jerry. (Those of you who know Jerry can appreciate that a little more.)
We've been given books, books, and more books. Books that tell you how to shepherd, train, mold, understand, and discpline your child. Personally, although they have some good ideas, we are wary of reading too many insruction books written by men. Some don't use the King James Bible, some don't use enough Bible, and some even go against the Bible.

(Note: We believe that if we spent as much time studying God's Word as we do the books of men, we wouldn't need them. That is not to say it is wrong to read other books, but to be wary and keep God's Word as the standard.)

I have struggled and prayed, believing that God's Word contains everything we need to know. The problem is that the Bible doesn't contain a set of blue prints for raising children. Yes, the Bible does contain verses about child-rearing, but I was looking for a complete instruction manual that gave clear answers for EVERYTHING and that would apply to every child. I came to two conclusions:

1. God created each child different and what works for one doesn't always work for another. (One reason to be careful of the "do-this-and-every-child-will-turn-out" books.)

2. God is our Heavenly Father and the greatest example of parenthood. (This has taught me a great deal about my relationship with God.)
Yesterday in Sunday School, the Lord showed us a passage that we have applied to parenting. 2Peter 1:3-10. Verse 10 says,"...if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" What things? It starts with faith and builds, adding another trait as follows:
1. Faith
2. Virtue
3. Knowledge
4. Temperence
5. Patience
6. Godliness
7. Brotherly Kindness
8. Charity
Well, here's another promise. One says that if a child is trained according to God's way that he will not depart from it; the other says that if we do certain things we will not fall. Well, we thought, if we center our teaching and our parenting on the things outlined in 2 Peter 1, then we can hold onto the promise of Proverbs 22:6.
So, that is what we have decided to do. We have written a definition and verse for the children to memorize. Yesterday, we started with "Faith." This week we will center our family devotions around learning about faith. I thought I would share our lesson with you each week.
Definition: Knowing that God is real and that He will always keep His Word
Memory Verse: Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Hymn: "Faith Is The Victory"

It's amazing how well the kids can memorize. Even Kaylee is memorizing the first phrase of the verse. Because our kids are small, we have decided to divide the verse into three parts and spend two days on each part and review on Saturday. I am excited about these lessons.

If you have any ideas, stories, or crafts that can reinforce our lessons, feel free to share them with us. Our children are 4, 3, and 2. God bless. Keep on a prayin'!


Keith and Julie Loveless said...

Sorry about the formatting. I kept fixing the errors and saving the corrections, but for some reason the blog kept formatting it wrong.

Deborah said...

Having a prodigal child does make that verse tough for me. I know it's a promise, and my prayer is that one day my daughter will turn back to the Lord. It's not that she is living a terrible life, she's not...but she's living it apart from God. I know that all the verses she memorized are still tucked away in her heart and she can't escape them, and I know all the songs she learned as a child are there too....just like the songs I learned can't be erased!
The biggest piece of advice I have for parents is...make sure God is real to your kids, that the Bible is real history, not 'Bible stories' That they see God working in your life, every day through the good and the bad, that they see you turn to God in prayer and through his word for every decision.
Then, they need to know you are always there for them, that you'll stand up for them, when they are right, even if it involves an adult in authority. Adults make mistakes, and need to be accountable. Remember that you are not the only influence in their lives. All that you do can been torn down and destroyed by other influences, even in church, even by teachers, and other adults, not just by friends.
Keep your kids close, be approachable...act, don't react when they confide in you.
Always, always, always be sure they know that you have their best interest at heart, and you will love them no matter what.
Don't let them come second to your ministry.
I know this doesn't answer your question, but sometimes you can do all the right things, teach them the verses and the songs, pray for them...and things still go wrong.
I don't want to discourage you, just to encourage you to be vigilant!

Keith and Julie Loveless said...

Thank you, Deborah. I do appreciate your experience and take it to heart. One of the ways I can be a godly mother is to learn from Titus 2 women. Thank you for helping learn how to love my children.