Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Imagine you decided that you would like to get in shape and you discovered a gym very close to your house.The gym promises you a trainer, who will teach you the exercises, and you know, you would like that very much. So you register there and go to the shop to buy a new set of sweats pants.
On your first day at the gym you arrive early, your towel hanging down your neck, trendy trainers on your feet and you had used an extra amount of deodorant because you expect to sweat. You are ready for the hard work it would take to get you in shape.
You are slightly surprised to be ushered into an air-conditioned room and told to wait for your trainer. A few minutes later, a fat man in a three piece suit, and who is in worse shape than you, comes in. You think in your mind that this guy would need a lot of work to get rid of that bulging stomach and should have come with his gym cloths.
You turn your attention from him, continue waiting for them to introduce you to your trainer and for the exercises to commence. You are told that this fat man that just walked in, is your trainer! He then proceeds to go to the board and teach you about all the benefits of exercises and the different exercises you should do.Which muscles it enhances. He ends his lecture and walks out. How would you feel?
I have taken time to outline this lengthy illustration because when we understand it and then read the scripture above we can better understand what the bible says.
A lot of us are trying to get our kids to do, what we don’t do! We are like an out of shape trainer who knows the words.
Many of us are teaching our children and expect them to go and do what we have taught them while there is a place of teaching, which I would explain shortly, the bible tells us to train.
If we teach without training, then we are like that gym stated above, and I am sure a lot of us would demand a refund from them. We would not be interested in what they offer.
Friend, do you do what you tell your kids to do. Have you modeled the godly character to them.
Do you tell them to exercise faith, but have never exercised faith? Do you tell them to pray, but don’t?
It is good to do what we tell our children to do but can you also imagine that this same gym, instead of an out of shape trainer has a trainer with a well toned body who comes and does the same thing of teaching you about exercises. Does it help you? Maybe for a few hours you would do the exercises if you really want to get in shape but you won’t do it for long.
For the trainer to be effective, he must be willing to sweat it out with his student. Your trainer does the exercises with you and shows you exactly how it is done.
I would like to ask you, at this point are you a trainer or a teacher?
If there is one sentence that I would like you to always remember it is this:
YOUR WORDS TEACH YOUR CHILDREN BUT YOUR ACTIONS TRAIN THEM.
The Bible however instructs us to train and not just teach. If you want them to value the word of God, show them that you value it by your actions. If you want them to know how to pray, then get on your knees with them and pray together. TRAIN THEM don’t just teach.
Could this be the reason several men/women who have walked with God, find their kids not following their footsteps? The parents may have taught the kids but did not spend time to train them, so they departed from the faith.
I will illustrate this with an example from the life of Abraham.
Gen 22:7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
From the scripture above you will notice that Isaac knew what was required to offer a burnt offering to God but who told him that they were going to offer a burnt offering in the first place?
No where in the verses before this, did it state that Abraham had told him they were going to offer a burnt sacrifice. Abraham only told the servants that they(Isaac and Himself) were going to worship. Also notice, to Isaac it was not out of place to worship with his father. Why? He had been worshiping with his father in the past. He had been trained and he also understood that to worship, you would need a burnt offering. Isaac saw all the instruments required for the burnt offering except one thing. A lamb.
How did he know that a Lamb is required? why that particular animal?
I would like to think that the reason is that once when he and his father had gone to worship together. the father had given him the task to pull the lamb that would be used for the sacrifice along to the place of worship. That, my friend, is training!
Now is there no place for teaching in our training them? Of course, there is!
Going back to our gym illustration again, lets say you had a personal trainer now, who is part of your training process now. He tells you to lift a weight of 50 kg everyday and your muscles are aching from the strain but every single day(and for hours on end it would seem) he tells you to lift that weight.
Suppose, when he notices you are tired or about to rebel, he sits you down and shows you his biceps that you have always admired and told you that it got that way as a result of lifting that very weight daily. How would you respond?
I think I would lift that weight more frequently because I have been taught!
So by all means teach but do not forget to train. Be part of what you are looking to develop in your child.
Lord help us to model an honorable life before our children. To teach and to train them in this godly faith. Amen.
Michael Nsofor is a blog writer who seeks to encourage people in their christian faith and stir lives to a greater desire to achieve the best that God has for them. check out his blog http://michael-oasisinthedesert.blogspot.com/2014_08_01_archive.html