I can't stop thinking about the verse "To train up a child..." This verse evokes a lot of frustration and anger in some of my friends because of it's very strong ties to Michael Pearl and his teachings. He wrote a book with those very words as it's title. But he isn't the one who coined the phrase. It was Solomon. In all of his wisdom. Tho one has to wonder if he truly trained his children or if the mothers and nurses of his children did. :) It's interesting that he threw that thought in there along w/ thoughts like " The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender" or "Thorns [and] snares [are] in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. " Those are both the verses below and above it. He just throws it in the mix w/ all these other thoughts that he is having. And it has caused a lot of stir in parenting 'gurus' and a lot of angst for us parents. We wonder "What is the best way to train up the child?" or "What IS the way he should go?" or "He's old now, why isn't he following the way I've trained him?" I grew up in a tight knit, legalistic church. I loved that church & I miss some aspects of it. But I have to say that in spite of all that the parents did to train up their children in that church, many, many of the children are not even following the Lord anymore. Some are complete agnostics, some are atheists, some just don't care and some claim to be Christian, but live a lifestyle that begs to differ. (Tho I am in no position to judge. I'm merely making an observation)
So that brings the question... what is the best way to "train up" our children? I have seen punitive measure work wonderfuly for some children. I've also seen them fail miserably for some children. I have seen permissive parenting work well for some children and fail miserably for others. I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing some raise their children in a Grace Based Discipline manner from birth to adulthood, but my guess is that for some children it would be wonderful and others maybe not.
What are children to us anyway? I was talking w/ someone the other day and mentioned that "they aren't *my* possessions." And they aren't. They aren't *mine* at all. They are each individuals. They each have their own thoughts, feelings, desires, likes, dislikes, etc. God placed within each of them these things. Isn't it best to train them in how to make those thoughts, etc. pleasing to the Lord? Isn't it best to train them in the proper way to use their likes for the Lord?
What, exactly, does 'train' mean? According to the dictionary it means "
to give the discipline and instruction, drill, practice, etc., designed to impart proficiency or efficiency. " So what, exactly, does 'discipline' mean? "To disciple. To teach" And every good teacher knows that the best way to get kids to learn is to make it fun. To make it interesting. To make them want to know the information and apply it. And especially, to model it for them.
So training up a child in the way he should go really makes you have to delve into each of the children you have been entrusted to raise. Makes you have to know that child, to train that child and teach him/her what s/he should know for life skills. And intertwined with all of that training we teach faith, love & hope in the Lord.