Training Your Children to Live for God
As parents, God has placed in our hands—not the preacher’s or the Sunday School teacher’s—the responsibility for training our children in the knowledge of God.
Moses’ parents, Amram and Jochebed, had Faith’s Vision and Faith’s Valor for their son, born into perilous times in Egypt for a Hebrew child. Today’s child is likewise born into perilous times. Believing God for Moses’ future, they took the next step:
They Embarked on Faith’s Venture
They didn’t just sit around saying, “Well, we’re going to trust God for how things turn out with Moses.” No. “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:17)
Faith, Not Fatalism
True faith is belief with legs on it. It does something. “Whatever will be, will be. Just let it happen” — is fatalism. If you take a garden and leave it alone, it’s going to turn into weeds.
Faith, Not Fanaticism
Nor did they say, “We’ll just toss him in the Nile and let God take care of him.” No. They did something. Do your part and God is going to do His part.
The Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” It is your duty to train them. The word way is a Hebrew word referring to the bend in a bow. Every child has a particular bent. It’s our duty and joy to discover that bent. Don’t see your child as a block of granite to take a hammer and chisel to and sculpt away. No. They are unique individuals. Become a student of your child: study your child. Determine the natural gifts God gave them. Children don’t come in standard packages. Read the label. See what God has invested in them.
Just Teaching — or Training?
There’s a difference between teaching and training. To train means to prepare for a contest, to instruct by exercise, to drill, to form to a proper shape, to discipline for use. If all you do is teach your child, you can teach him one thing, but someone else can come along and teach him something else. But when a child is trained, he gets Godly principles through the pores of his skin into his very psyche. Training is more than a lecture. You have to coach your children. You have to pray. You have to plead. You have to lead by example. You embed the principles of the Word of God in the hearts and lives of your children.
Your child’s life will be determined by his choices. They’re not going to live for God without proper values in their heart. Moses had to choose. Are you training at home by precept and example?
And are you in a Bible-believing church? Are your children in a class under a born-again teacher? I’m amazed that people will send their children across the United States to get a college education but will not drive across town to a Bible-believing church. Some people spend more time training a dog than they do their children.
They Had Faith’s Victory
Faith honors God, and God honors faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Most parents say, “Don’t do this and don’t do that. Come out of Egypt. Don’t play footsie with the king,” but don’t give them reasons for it. You must establish their heart values so they can make the right choices. If you try to take an old bone away from a dog, you might get bitten. But if you put a steak on the ground, the dog will drop the bone to get the steak. What did they put into Moses’ heart? The steak of the Word of God. The riches of Jesus Christ. If your children don’t see that, they’ll be unequipped and Egypt will have them.
Some years ago, scientists created a “bathysphere,” a big globe lowered into the ocean, deeper than man had ever descended. They got down to 35,000 feet. The pressure of the water was enormous. Had it not been built of steel many inches thick, it would have been crushed like an aluminum can. Looking out through a small window, they saw something they never expected to see: fish with delicate skin swimming along under enormous pressure — pressure that would have crushed an unreinforced bathysphere. When someone asked how this was possible, the answer came: Those fish had pressure inside of them that equaled the pressure on the outside and allowed them to live.
The pressures on our children today are enormous. As parents, you must be certain they have the Power on the inside equal to it.