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Train up a Child in the Way He Should Go

Jesus with children 22 Samuel 14:29 15:12 : He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spread slander is a fool.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it


What’s the mark of a successful man? Many of us gauge success by money in the bank, prestige in the community, fine homes, fine cars or what have you!

Measuring success this way, David led the pack! His riches were unlimited. He stood head and shoulders above the crowds when it came to fame. He lived in a palace! But I wonder how he rated himself in old age. Those he loved the most, his own sons, plotted his downfall because of their hatred. Absalom and Adonijah both tried to overthrow him and usurp the throne. Why? Was David so busy being a king that he forgot to be a father? Only Solomon seems to have loved and respected David.

One of the big problems of our day is career orientation. Fathers/mothers must climb the ladder of success or search for fulfillment beyond the range of family. Who’s tending the home fires? How many Absaloms and Adonijahs are we producing?

Our entire Christian culture rests upon the foundation of the family. Are we so ambition geared that we destroy those we hold most dear?

(Source: Devotions for Every Day, The Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1978)

As I read this, this morning, it made me think about all the racial and civil violence and protests that are going on; All the families that have been destroyed by the shootings of young men in communities that have a large volume of criminal actions.

Every parent wants to believe that their child is perfect, that they don’t lie, steal, cheat, harm people or harbor any kind of hatred or ill feelings toward anyone. This is so far from the truth. Society today dictates that you are poor if you can’t buy all the latest fashions, all the bling bling that sparkles, all the latest technology and electronics.

Many children are raised in families that are poor and have just given up trying to make anything better for their children. Many of them are willing to sit back, collect benefits, complain about their situation and blame everyone else that they can. The sad fact is they are passing down this ideology to their children, stifling the chance for that child to seek something better in their life.

That is one main reason so many of them turn toward crime. They’ve been taught that their plight in life is never going to get better. Instead of the parents trying to instill honor, love, affection, mercy, forgiveness and grace in their children, they are instilling hatred, bitterness, and to be vengeful. They are teaching them  that nothing is their fault, it is always someone else’s fault and they are not taught to be respectful to anyone. They aren’t teaching them to take a responsibility for their actions, and then they wonder why they are arrested, beat, shot or killed in the act of committing a crime.

I really get tired of hearing what a good person they were, how they were loved and love others, how they were so sweet and innocent and then you find out they have a record of criminal acts as long as your arm, that they were involved in violent acts and never showed any intent on correcting anything in their lives and I have no doubt that a lot of this relates back to how they were raised.

It’s time for society, especially you parents, to wake up and realize “Your child is not perfect” and they never will be just as you never will be. Maybe it’s time to step back and take a look at yourself “Parents”. Exactly what are you teaching your children as they grow up? I have one child and have raised several others, and I have many grandchildren, and I don’t consider any one of them perfect. They all have problems of one sort or another. Even though they chose different paths in life, the parents did try to instill good habits in them.

I came from a very poor family. We lived in the basement of a building that flooded every time it rained. My mom would put us on a bed and we would watch all the bugs float by. We ended up spending several years in Foster Homes because my father died and my mother got sick. But no one, not one parent, my mom, my dad, or any of my foster parents taught me that my plight in life was someone else fault.

I wasn’t taught that lying, cheating, stealing, or hurting someone was the right thing to do because I was poor. I was taught to respect authority whether it was my parents, grandparents or the police. I didn’t even know I was poor until someone told me.

It’s time for parents to quit letting society, their relatives, their friends, their neighbors dictate how to live and how to raise their children. It’s time for them to forget about the material things in life and start raising their children to be responsible, respectful, helpful, loving and giving adults.

Let me make one thing very clear “No particular race has a monopoly on this problem. It is prevalent nationwide and worldwide and is in every community, no matter what color, religion, or gender or social status you are.”

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