Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
At 13-years of age, slave Frederick Douglass longed for someone to confide in; he longed for a father and protector. A pastor encouraged him to cry out to God because He would always be such a friend. The pastor explained about sin and repentance and how to be reconciled to God. As a result, Frederick cast all his cares on God and accepted God’s gift of salvation. He suddenly saw his world in a new light. He began to love all men, including slaveholders, though he abhorred slavery more than ever. His desire to learn increased, especially when it came to the Bible.
He began to teach himself how to read and write and he passed his knowledge on to other slaves by teaching them how to read the New Testament. More than 40 slaves would attend his weekly instruction. Eventually, the study was discovered by the slaveowners, who violently forced the slaves to stop.
This abolitionist and statesman is considered by many to be the most influential African American of the nineteenth century. Douglass is quoted as saying,
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
Solomon shares the importance of giving children a strong foundation in the faith while they are young. Training up children in “the way they should go” means directing them toward the Savior and teaching them the ways of God. Even at a young age, children can comprehend their need for a Savior and accept His gift of salvation.
Discipline is also an integral part of raising godly children. Godly discipline is rooted in love and the Bible says it produces a harvest of righteousness for those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).
As Douglass said, it is easier to be diligent in raising strong children than to repair broken adults. How are you training your children up in the ways of the Lord? Are you giving them a strong foundation in the ways of God? Consistently share your faith with your children and encourage them to make it their own in a personal and intimate way.
Dear Lord, thank You for the children that are in our life. Help us to train them in a way that You would have us to. Give us the strength to mold them into fine young men and women. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
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