How to train a child

In Proverbs 22.6, the Bible urges parents to train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. All parents have this responsibility to train their children in the ways of the Lord.

John Makumbe
John Makumbe

We cannot leave this responsibility to school teachers, the church or the world. We are the ones who know the family values that we would like to see our children observe and so we have to do the training.

What is the way he should go? It is the godly way. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands, and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

In today’s world, parents have to compete with the TV, the cell phone, the internet etc for the attention of their children. We think it is unfortunate that some children are not exposed to the Scriptures until they reach secondary school or even college. This robs them of the vital word of God which contains all the critical values that build up a good person. But to train our children we have to be followers of God as is stated in Ephesians 5:1.

We cannot train our children in what we ourselves do not believe. We also have to walk in love. We have always maintained that when there is no love in the family there is always serious trouble. Our children should learn from us how to love in a clean way. The love between their parents becomes the model that they will seek to emulate. We must therefore train by example.

In Ephesians 5.18, the Bible tells us not to be drunk with wine but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. A drunken parent is always a shame to his or her children. Most children who end up abusing alcohol will have learnt this from their parents. What damage are you doing to your own children Baba when you come home drunk every evening? What language do you speak when you are drunk, and do your children hear you speak this foul language?

It is also vitally important to be giving thanks always for all things. We have therefore trained our children to be thankful to the Lord and to each other at all times. We say thank you to the maid who will have prepared a meal for us. This does not happen in many families. Learning to be thankful to the Lord is one of the most important practices for a committed Christian.

This skill needs to be passed onto your children for their own benefit. There are some families where the mother is never thanked for cooking the meal or washing the dishes. Some men think that what the woman does has to be done by her and she does not need to be thanked for it. Sadly, this erroneous view ends up being passed onto our children. May the Lord help us to train our children in the right way.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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