This lesson is from the wise man, Solomon, who said, "Train up a child in
the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it"
(Proverbs 22:6). This is a biblical fact.
Parenthood is one of the most awesome responsibilities one can face. It has
to do with the job of shaping the future of a soul, not only for time, but
for eternity. It is sad that so many take this responsibility so lightly. It
is easy and natural for creatures, including human beings, to reproduce them
selves. At the beginning of time the Lord made this a natural law, and He
gave the commandment, "Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis chapter one).
However, the only creatures in the world who are held accountable for their
offspring, are human beings, for humans are the only creatures who are made
in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), and have souls which will live forever.
A distinction is pointed out by Solomon in the question, "Who knoweth the
spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth
downward to the earth?" (Ecclesiastes 3:21). In view of this fact, we are
given instructions and made to realize that we are accountable. However, we
are assured that if we "train up a child in the way he should go...that he
will not depart from it." Thanks be to God for this promise and assurance.
Parenthood is probably one of the most unprepared roles that most human
beings assume. The reason is that most in this regard are unschooled and
unlearned beyond their basic instincts — the carnal nature of man. Every
creature has been given these instincts, but only humans are accountable to
God for proper and controlled application of this nature. The inspired
writer says, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to
avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have
her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:1,2). The apostle Paul assures us that
"marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and
adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).
He says, "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body;
but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body (1
Corinthians 6:18). "The wife bath not power of her own body, but the
husband: and likewise also the husband bath not power of his own body, but
the wife" (1 Corinthians 7:4). Dnce a couple is married, they Delong to each
other, and are accountable to the Lord.
When the apostle Paul wrote :o Timothy, his son in the faith, he pointed out
that the woman was deceived by Satan :in the garden of Eden) and
transgressed the will of God, 'Notwithstanding she shall be ;awed in
childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with
sobriety (1 Timothy 2:14,15). It is only -natural for a woman to want :o be
a mother. This is called `natural affection" in Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:3.
But it is a great responsibility.
elder women are given the job )f sharing with the younger /dyes and mothers
what they -lave learned as Christian parmts, and what they know by
experience, which can be of great benefit to younger women who have yet many
things to learn (Titus 2:3-5). And younger women should have a desire to
learn these things, which will make it easier for them to fulfill their
roles as Christian women and mothers. The Lord expects the older women to be
examples of what they teach (Titus 2:3). They should be "role models." If
so, they have better listeners and have more influence on the women they
seek to help.
Many young men are unprepared for the roll of parenthood. They are
irresponsible and have the strange notion that their wives are their
personal property and their servants. Instead of being prepared for the
serious job of making a living for themselves and their families, many are
lazy, and some act like overgrown kids who spend the family income on
expensive toys for their own enjoyment. Some think, because they are the
"head of the wife" (Ephesians 5:23), that simply makes him "boss", and they
are not aware of the fact that this gives them the awesome responsibility of
the way their family functions. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ
"loved the church and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25).
Fathers are given the direct responsibility to bring up their children ' in
the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). The husband is
accountable for the way the home goes. The man is to be the example and role
model for all the members of his family and should demand submission to God.
Of course, the father and the mother work together to "train up their
children in the way they should go."
God furnishes the information we need to be successful parents. We are not
left in the dark on how to train up a child in the way he should go, but "a
child left to himself bringeth his mother to
shame" (Proverbs 29:15). We can learn from the Bible how to successfully
bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; how to
train them in the way they should go. Moses told the children of Israel,
"These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And
thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when
thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
To train up a child in the way he should go involves furnishing him with the
proper example and the information he needs in order to know the difference
between right and wrong, and to develop his conscience, which will remind
him to do what is right. Then when he is on his own and must make his
decisions in life, because his conscience is developed, those decisions and
his actions will be based on what the Lord would have him do, because he has
been trained up in the way he should go. THINK ABOUT IT!
In this life no one lives to himself — alone. Whether or not we realize it,
we are all role models for someone. If we would but stop and think about it,
this is a very grave responsibility. Not only do we answer for ourselves,
but to some extent, we must answer for those around us whom we have
influenced. This is true of all of us, but doubly so of those who are
parents. Does not the Bible teach us to bring up our children in the way
they should go? Are we not admonished to teach them as we go about our daily
lives, as we walk along the way, as we sit by the fireside? Are we aware
that each day of our lives we are teaching someone, whether our own child, a
neighbor, a friend and even sometimes someone whom we never met? Do we watch
our conduct, our speech, the places we go, our relationships and dealings
with our fellow man, realizing all the while that there are others
patterning their own lives after ours; who are using us as guidelines as
they travel from time to eternity? It truly is a serious matter, don't you
= = = = = = =
A wise son makes a glad father,
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother... (Proverbs 10:1)
My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may answer him who reproaches me... (27:11)
A fool despises his father's instruction,
But he who receives reproof is prudent... (15:5)
Cease listening to instruction, my son,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge... (19:27)