Summary: A sermon the details what is important in the training of children.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Train up a child. We will train them whether we realize it or not. They will learn things from mom and dad and other people. They are like sponges and they will copy something that they see and hear in us, good or bad.
ILL.- Someone said, "Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories."
ILL.- That's like the young student of child behavior who frequently delivered a lecture called "Ten Commandments for Parents." He married and became a father. The title of the lecture was altered to "Ten Hints for Parents." Another child arrived. The lecture became "Some Suggestions for Parents." A third child was born. The lecturer stopped lecturing.
But what are the things are really important when we think about training our children/grandchildren? I'd like to suggest 6 things:
I. Your aim is important
To train a child the right way is to train according to God's way. The earlier the training begins the better. Two things stand out when speaking about our aim as parents. First, we need a goal, a target, a mark to shot for. Zig Ziglar said "if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time." What is our goal, our responsibility as parents? It is to train our children!!!! What is the second thing? It is to have the right goal. Parents today have it all wrong. Millions of parents and sadly this would include many Christian parents, are under the false impression that their purpose in life is to make their child happy and they will go to any length to achieve this goal. They fill their schedules with ballgames, gymnastics, dance class, and every other thing under the sun thinking that this will produce a happy child. The truth is that children have never been more unhappy, and that's because we've got it all backwards. My goal as a parent (grandparents too since many of us are raising our grand's) is to produce children who are holy, who are Christ like, who are like Jesus! The truth is that if we strive to produce holy kids that they will invariably be happy kids.
II. Your authenticity is important
Since we will re-produce what we are it is vital that parents be authentic! It is a well-worn clique but we must "...practice what we preach!" Where you children are concerned there is truth to the statement, "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one." Children may not remember what you say, but they are impacted for life by what you do. If we are to train up our children in the way (literally God's way) that they should go then we must be sure that we are going that way ourselves! I read a story about an epitaph a few years ago that goes like this:
"Farewell my friends,
as you pass by
As you are now,
so once was I,
As I am now
so must you be,
so prepare to die
and follow me."
Usually followed by the wisecrack:
"To follow you
I'm not content,
Until I know
which way you went!"
For good or bad our children generally follow our example. Paul wrote a young Timothy: