December 22, 2016

Train Up a Child

During a recent church visit the pastor justified his church model of not having children’s church or youth groups and keeping the membership together generationally. “The culture segregates by age and so does the church. Nothing in God’s Word says to separate by age. People say children can’t sit through a service…of course they can!” This pastor puts great emphasis on God’s call for us to live intergenerational and places the responsibility for training children on parents. Bemoaning the fact that less than one-half of one-percent of Millennials (18-23 years old) have a biblical world view, he said, “It’s about the fact that the church quit training children. God did not call the world to raise children.” From personal experience it was the church, not my parents, who was equipped to train and give me instruction in the Lord. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----We have emphasized “train” in Proverbs 22:6. We have emphasized “the way he should go”. We’ve forgotten to emphasize “in”. Behaviorally, attitudinally, and especially emotionally, as well as even informationally, children learn more by osmosis than by training. I dare say that learning process is most responsible for the world’s grief. Not because it is a bad process. But because it invokes what is all too real. If you want your child to know the Lord, then you know the Lord and live your knowledge everywhere. If you want your child to love, then love truly; everywhere. If you want him to pray, pray. Certainly the presentation of information, ideas, and insights can not be abandoned. But what you teach your children through conversation and lecture is merely food for your child’s thought. Spankings and “beating him with a rod”, like the Bible prescribes, merely instills apprehensions at basic emotional levels. The emotions and sense of normal life in all its sights and sounds and facts and speculations as it really happens molds the ideas, information, and apprehensions of all your conversations and lectures and beatings into the child’s core beliefs.
-----The shape of the mold is as important as the information poured into it. Disregarding it is to dance ballet on one leg. So, it doesn’t really matter whether the information is poured at children’s church, youth group, the worship service, or at home, or any combination thereof. What’s important is deliberately being the shape of the mold you want for your child. Then what you are will be the ways in which he is trained up.

Love you all,
Steve Corey