Who’s Training Who?

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

On most days I think I understand my duty as a parent; it’s been twelve years but I’m a slow learner. I’ve been given such a tremendous responsibility to shepherd my child
and I feel the weight of Proverbs 22:6 every day. The foundation that is laid is so important and critical. I’ve been re-reading What the Bible Says About Parenting by John McArthur. He says, “The parent who wants to raise an obedient child in today’s world certainly cannot afford to approach the task half heartedly.”

There have been some critical moments in my life when I’m reminded not to be sluggish or careless in my job. But, like any kid I can be hard headed. I used to think that was better than being hard hearted but now I’m not so sure. Payton, who is named after my favorite football player Walter Payton, has kept me praying quite fervently. She displays the strength of character and tenacity that I so loved in her name sake. But as she approaches her thirteenth birthday this December I see the inward struggle with her sin nature and the pull from outside forces to conform to the world’s standard.  It leads me to question, how good of a foundation does she have. When temptation comes to follow the crowd, will she be swept away or does she have something to cling to? I’ve prayerfully poured truth into her and watched to see if the lessons that have been impressed upon her have found good soil. I’m in prayer now even as I write.

This is MY teachable moment. My Father says to me “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.”—Deuteronomy 4:9. Aaah, there it is; I’ve been taken to the wood shed once again. Hopefully, this time the truth has ‘stickability.’ I pray that the Lord binds these truths upon my heart and teach me to walk in his ways. Instead of giving her facts and rules, just like breathing, may I tell and show her Jesus. I want her to know that this love is real, Jesus is real. Instead of exasperation, let my child see the joy of the Christian walk, even as I stumble.  May she come to fear you, be in awe of you and know the beauty and the unfathomable love of my Savior.

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