• Kate Clinton

Training Up a Child is Exhausting

Training up a child in the way he/she should go sure is exhausting. You give birth to a cute, squishy bundle of joy that can't do much on their own. You have to train them to take a bottle. Eat baby food. Eat hard food. Sit up. Pull up. Walk. Talk. You train them to be soothed by a pacifier and how to be able to live without one. How to use the potty. How to ride a bike. How to survive boo-boos. Not to bite other people. To teach them how to control their temper. How to make friends. How to pet a dog and pick up a cat.

As they get older you train them on how to behave at school. How to throw a ball. How to tie a shoe. Their colors and ABCs. Then on to Algebra and the nuances of baseball. How to drive a car and keep morals with girls/boys. You train them on the dangers of alcohol and drugs. It just keeps going. PSATS. College choices. Behavior at college. And I still call my mom for more training after all these years, so apparently it will never end.

So much time is spent training them for life here on Earth. Oh, but how little time is spent training them on God's teaching which will last for eternity? I am guilty. We spend a lot of our Sundays at a travel ball tournament somewhere, forgetting to do any Biblical training. More time is spent training them for a ball game than how to give forgiveness. I spend more time training them for success at school than I do training them on how to witness to others with confidence. I require more time spent on the piano than I do encouraging them in the Word.

I am so exhausted trying to train them for success in this world that I can be lackadaisical about training them for success in eternity. I know. I know. Life must go on. Games will come. School is important. Learning to use the potty is a prerequisite for life. But I also realize that the Bible tells us to “Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up” (Deuteronomy 11:19). And I know I am not doing a great job at that.

I have been trying to add some ways to “talk about them” in daily life lately. I read a Psalm or Proverb in the car drop off line at school aloud to our kids in the mornings. We are having a scripture memorization competition. We are trying to be diligent to spend some time learning from the Bible on Sundays that we are away for ball. A quick lesson is better than none. I am trying to add a Biblical principal to a life lesson that may be happening instead of telling them to stop doing what ever they are doing. I stink at doing a lot of this. Our scripture competition can go on for weeks because I forget to ask the kids to say it to me. Or, even worse, I forget to memorize it and try to give myself some more time! Sometimes a Sunday lesson may be something quick between games. Sometimes I just yell “stop it” at the kids instead of taking the time to explain to them why what they are doing is wrong. Like I said, all this training is exhausting. Sometimes, the thought of something being added to the ever growing list can sound intimidating...but we can do it when it comes to training our children for eternity, can't we? Work with me to add some Biblical teaching to your busy week this week. Add to it over time. Not only are we preparing our kids for eternity, we are preparing the next generation of people here on earth. We are preparing the kids that will grow up to be the parents to our grand kids. Which is more important? That they can hit a curve ball or that Jesus is the Savior of their hearts? They are in our homes for such a short time. Lets do our best to train them up in the way of the Lord.

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