There is a verse in Proverbs that we Christians like to trust in as one of the great promises of God. Chapter 22, verse 6 reads like this: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
We parents especially like the part where it says that the child will not turn from the right training even in old age, but sometimes we forget there always is a condition to God’s promises: The right training must take place.
I was at one of the schools the other day and listened in on a conversation between two brothers. One brother was about 9 years old, and the other was about 5. They were on bicycles, and the older one was kind of dropping off the younger one and spoke these words that caught my attention. He said, “Remember these two things: First, obey the rules, and second, be respectful.”
I said to myself, “Kudos to those parents who have taught their children some right things.” I don’t know if their parents are Christians, but it sounded like something Christian parents should be teaching their children if they want to train up their children in the way they should go.
It is an awesome responsibility God has given us parents and, I may say, grandparents in many cases. We have the opportunity to help shape the lives of those coming in after us. Of course, the No. 1 thing we need to teach them is the importance of being a Christ-follower. I think we need to teach our kids honesty, truthfulness and kindness, but it’s just as important or even more important to live it out through example.
Children aren’t blind and they can see right through hypocrisy. The other thing that we need to understand is that children follow mainly by example. So are you following the rules, and are you being respectful?