Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Train them up...

A few days ago I asked for some suggestions for posting topics. A friend asked;

I am requesting a post on training children. Not discipline as much as raising children in a Christian home and teaching them certain biblical principles like.... abstinence, honoring father and mother, learning to worship and walk with God etc. I've had lots of conversations, and it's really been on my heart lately how many people (and shockingly, even how many Christians) think that many of these ideas are outdated or unrealistic for their children.

This concerns me and I already worry about how to teach my kids these things in a way that is effective. It scares me even more to think that most parents out their won't be teaching their kids the same things. It scares me even MORE that I have to, then, send my children out into the world with people who profess to believe the same thing, but now think we are in an age where what you profess can be different than what you actually do.

Hmm. This intrigued me. It's something I think about and pray over on a daily basis, and definitely not something I consider myself to be anything like an expert on. BUT. I would love to share some thoughts and hear yours in response.

First of all, I don't think any of those ideas-- or the concept of deliberately teaching them to your children-- is at all outdated. The Scripture is pretty clear on that:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear Oh Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord He is one! You shall love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up. You shall bind them as signs on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

That seems pretty clear to me. I think we can lay to rest the idea that there's any room in the Christian faith for parents to let their children "find their own way" or "experience life without bias" or any other crap like that (pardon my french). The Christian parent clearly bears a burden of responsibility to pass on the faith to the next generation. In fact, a large portion of the Old Testament-- all the history of Israel from the death of Joshua to the captivity of Judah-- is a repetition of the cycle of repentance, redemption, blessing and then neglecting to pass it on to the next generation. Again and again the Lord says "And a generation arose that did not know the Lord..." (Judges 2:10-23)

So, that said, what's a parent to do in order to fulfill this awesome charge to pass the faith on to the next generation? Aye, there's the rub.

Again, I don't have all the answers, but there are four basic ways we try to do this in our home. Here they are;

1) Read the Bible
2) Pray
3) Worship
4) Deliberately Indoctrinate

To be perfectly honest, I actually just analyzed what we do and came up with those four nifty headings just now :) We're soooo not organized enough to have that pre-planned!

Because I'm lazy and would like to "work" this blog material for as many posts as I can, I plan to write another post in a little while to explain those four points and how we put them to work.


Debbie said...

I think this is a great idea for a series of posts. Such important info.

canningmama said...

Oh my goodness, that was the easiest thing e.v.e.r. adding link within to my blog. I enjoyed this post too about child training. Good one. Thanks for the help!!!

Lauren Valentine said...

Thanks Elisa, I'm looking forward to the rest of the series!

Dawn Farias said...

Looking forward to it.