As a parent, I am often reminded of Proverbs 22:6 which states, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” My constant prayer is that my sons becomes genuinely passionate about Jesus and spend their lives telling other about Him. I strive to practice what I preach to them by serving in the church, loving people, turning away from sin, and applying the scriptures to my own life. It pleases me to see the natural leadership traits peek through my teenager when he is participating in his high school ministry and how much my six year old loves to sing and dance to worship songs.
When my teenager heads out of the door each day, I know that he will be bombarded with different messages and influences. I am not there when he walks down the halls at school or hangs out with friends in between classes. I will not always be there the moment that he faced with a tough decision. I cannot always protect him from making mistakes. I realize that he has to have room to develop his own personal relationship with Christ and not attempt to ride on the coat tails of others to Heaven.
Proverbs 22:6 gives parents a specific command of training up the children we are blessed with. It is not the responsibility of children's church volunteers or youth pastors to train up our children. They are in place to cultivate the biblical morals and values instilled in the home. We must do our part in laying the biblical foundation and allowing Christ to water the seeds we spend years sowing into their spirits.
I firmly believe in Proverbs 22:6. I am a product of it. I had family who sowed those seeds of faith into my heart at an early age. When I was old enough, I made the decision to create my own path that lead to countless mistakes. I assumed that because I got baptized at 10 and had a praying grandmother, I would always be in good standing with Jesus. Yet, Romans 14:12 says that “every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” I would have to give an account of my life, not my grandmother or youth pastors. I would. I couldn't rely on the faith of others to ensure a free pass to Heaven. I had to seek my own forgiveness for my sins and develop my own relationship with Jesus. So do my sons.
I encourage every parent to pray for with their children. Read and discuss the scriptures with them on a regular basis. Be an example for them to follow. Challenge them to live a life of righteousness even when the world says otherwise. Encourage them to develop their own relationship with Christ and give them room to seek Him on their own. Above all else, trust God with their lives and they will not depart from Him.