Train Up a Child

Croyle feb 15Are your children turning out to be the kind of people you want them to be?

by John Croyle


Now that we are well into 2015, I want to challenge you with a few questions. What character traits do you want to build into your family, especially your children? What specific goals and plans have you lain out to make that happen? 

We make plans for vacations, IRAs, new cars, home remodeling projects, retirement…I think you get the idea. If I were to tell you that your child was going to experiment with drugs this coming summer, wouldn’t you do all you could to prevent this from happening? Or if I told you that this coming fall your son or daughter is going to decide to pursue inappropriate dating practices and engage in premarital sex—Wouldn’t you try to figure out how to prevent this from happening?

The Bible is so clear on what we as parents must do: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6)

The way I see it, you and I have no choice in this matter. Either we are going to parent our children (prepare them for the future and anything that may come along), or our children are going to fall into the looming pitfalls and not know how to handle them.

The majority of kids I’ve met over these past 40 years—from the worst ghetto to downtown Beverly Hills mansions and everywhere in between—exhibit the following telltale signs when they are not being trained for whatever reason. See if any of these fit your child.

They could be any or all of the following: self-centered, lovers of money, arrogant, disobedient to authority, unholy, ungrateful, unloving, hard-hearted, deceitful, have a sense of entitlement, degrade others, boastful, reckless, or be abusive to others.

Why not sit down with your mate, and take an inventory of each of your children and what specific characteristics (if any) apply to the child you are training.  You must be honest in your assessment of your child. Don’t sugar coat the issue of what you are producing in your child’s heart, mind, and soul.

Once that evaluation is complete comes the hardest question: What are you going to do to fix the problem?

Your child probably will not be inclined to change the direction of his or her life without some parental guidance. If you are happy with where your child is, then kudos to you and/or your spouse for giving your child the foundation he or she so desperately needs.

But if you fall into the category where you really want to change where your child is heading, and the kind of person he or she is becoming, you must be honest with yourself and your mate and start making a plan to adjust the front-end alignment of your family. Commit to changing you first. You are in the driver’s seat. Then start on the rest of your family.

These changes in direction will not happen by themselves. We as the parents must decide where we really want to take our families and then commit to that plan. Remember this truth: You cannot lead your family somewhere you are not going.

Where are you going? Is that where you want your children to go? It’s up to you to make any necessary changes. Your children are counting on you to show them the way.

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