Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Train Up A Child...

In the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Because I am a mother and a grandmother, God has impressed upon me to write about "raising up a child of God". God gave me instructions and a promise in Proverbs 22:6.
God brings things to our remembrance in odd ways some times: For me this message came from making banana bread! I had some over-ripe bananas so I decided to bake bread out of them instead of throwing them away because I knew though the outside appeared no good, there was still good on the inside. I really wasn't thinking about children at the time, in fact, it was the next day before the Lord actually spoke to me, as I was tasting the bread to see how it turned out. The thought came to me it turned out right! I admit I was surprised, then God asked me why I was surprised, I had all the right ingredients, I had the instructions and I had the knowledge, all I had to do was DO IT. You might wonder what this has to do with raising a "child of God". Everything! We have the right ingredients (the child), we have the instructions, (the Bible), and we have the knowledge (the Bible and our life experiences). All we have to do is DO IT! Just as bread has to be mixed together and then baked, raising a child of God doesn't happen in an instant or even overnight.
God promised us in His word that if we train them up in His ways, when they get old they will NOT depart from it. As a parent, I remind God of His promise to "me" when I pray for my children, even though they are grown.
The child in me thinks of my own mom, who never got to see that promise fulfilled before going home to be with the Lord, however, she went home at peace because she clung to His promises. She believed God and where I am with God is a result of His promise and her faith.
If you are having trouble with your children, first-seek God, search the scriptures because He gives clear instructions. The words "spare the rod, spoil the child" are paraphrasing but they are biblical. Proverbs 23:13-14, Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Now, does God intend for you to beat them within an inch of their life, NO! God does intend for you to discipline them though. The Bible tells us in Exodus 10:2 to tell our children and our children's children the things the Lord has done so they will know that He is the Lord. In Deuteronomy 6:7 and 31:13 He tells us again the importance of parents teaching their children the Bible. How can we teach them what we don't know if we haven't already studied and learned these truths for ourselves. In like manner we are also told in Ephesians 6:4, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Needless to say, anytime you discipline your child, they are not going to be happy. Parenting is a tough job but God trusted you enough to give it to you. We must show the same love that God shows us to our children and admonish with love, seeking what is pleasing to God and teaching our children that way.
Proverbs 13:24, He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Our Heavenly Father loves us more than anything on this earth yet at times He has to chastise us.
It is not easy for a loving parent to discipline their child, what hurts our children hurts us. When they cry, we cry. However, the greatest responsibility God gives us as parents (and grandparents) is the nurture and guidance of our children (and grandchildren). Lack of discipline puts parents love in question because it shows a lack of concern for the character development of their children. Disciplining children averts long-range disaster. Without correction, children grow up with no clear understanding of right and wrong and little direction to their lives. Don't be afraid to discipline your children, it is an act of love. Remember, however, that your efforts cannot make your children wise, they can only encourage your children to seek God's wisdom above all else!
What better way to teach our children than by example, living as close to Jesus as we possibly can.
Ephesians 5:1, Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love as Christ also hath loved us and hath given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.
Our children imitate us, therefore we can teach no better lesson nor give no better example than to imitate Christ in our lives. Their salvation, possibly their life is at stake.
Remember the bananas, though it may seem there is nothing good on the outside, there is still something worth saving on the inside, meaning it is never to late to begin teaching your children about the Lord and turning their life around.
Thank you and God bless
Pray for the peace of Israel