Parenting is not easy. It’s not meant to be easy. It is designed to grow both parent and child. Parents sometimes forget that God intends to grow them just as much as He intends to grow their children through them.
One of the things parents need to raise their children is a plan. The Bible says that “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5) Far too many children in our society grow up impoverished for lack of parental plans.
Where should parents get their plan for raising their children?
Most parents rely on one of four plans to raise their children.
Plan #1: No plan, just react.
Plan #2: Raise them the way they were raised.
Plan #3: Raise them according to worldly wisdom and advice (e.g. Dr. Phil or Dr. Spock).
Plan #4: Raise them according to biblical principles.
As for me, I chose the ‘biblical principle’ route. One of my two life verses in raising children is Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The word “train up” means “the palate, the roof of the mouth, the gums”. The verb form was used for bringing into submission a wild horse by placing a rope in the mouth.
In Solomon’s day, the term was used to describe the action of a midwife who would dip her finger into a tiny pool of crushed grapes or dates, reach into an infant’s mouth and massage the gums, palate and roof of the mouth to encourage a sucking response. It meant "developing a thirst". This word came to mean "bringing into submission", "dedicating" or "consecrating".
Therefore, “training up” involves two things. It involves taming something that is wild and developing a taste for something that is nourishing and good.
The plans for our children should involve helping them to live a peaceful life of righteousness and to develop a taste for the things of God, which are eternally nourishing and good.
For you who are parents, what’s your plan?
More next Thursday, but till then, it’s something to think about…