Training Up a Child Means Being Their Example

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Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he’s old he will not depart from it.” Many parents love to quote this promise from God’s word, but if we are not actively keeping the command of training, then we cannot expect to claim the second part of the promise. The Hebrew word for train in this verse is ‘hanak’ (chanak) which means to narrow, to dedicate, to initiate, to discipline. It has a connotation of nourishment; like the action of a midwife to stimulate the palate of a newborn to receive nourishment. In other words, we as parents must be the ones who demonstrate a love for God, His will, and His pleasure. That we lead by example, demonstrating a life yielded to God, enjoying His presence, and tasting His goodness. If we want to see our children disciplined to follow God’s will, we must create a taste within them, while they are dependent upon us, that will continue to flow out of their relationship with Him once they are independent of us. If we desire to see them praying in the Spirit, worshipping Him at all times, communing with Him daily, walking in faith and reliance upon Him, then that is what they need modeled before them. Live your life with God out loud. Take your children by the hand and show them how to walk in His love and His ways until 3 John 4 is a reality in your home, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”

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