But you have been promised by your Heavenly Father that when you “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
But what exactly does God mean when He says that we are to train them up?
The original word used in this scripture is khaw-nak’. It is a Hebrew word that means much more than just disciplining your kids. It actually means to dedicate your children to the Lord for His use. To prepare them for their callings and destinies in Christ.
Now, if that’s not a huge responsibility, I don’t know what is! And, if we are all totally honest, most of us have no idea where to start. I mean, how do you prepare a child for their destiny, when you don’t even know what it is? In the midst of trying to raise them, when and how do you start to train them?
Have regular family prayer time.
When you pray as an entire family, it accomplishes several things. Your children have a chance to watch you put your faith into action. They are also able to watch how you communicate with God, so they can learn to talk to Him for themselves. And, as they begin to see some of the prayers you pray together being answered, it deepens their faith and trust in God.
Remember that, every day, your children are developing their own opinions of who God is, and who He is not. They are deciding if He is worthy, or if He is not.
You can not just tell them to love Him. You have to show them why you do.
Start having family Bible study time.
Most parents do not feel qualified to teach their children the Bible. But, you are the people that your kids trust the most. Seeing that you put a priority on the Word of God will help them to value it as well.
If you don’t know exactly where to start, find a website that offers fun kid’s Bible study online activities, and start from there.
You do not have to know all of the answers. Simply taking one day per week to read a few scriptures aloud and discuss them as a family is a great start to developing a family Bible study routine. Always keep a concordance near by. If your children ask a question you do not know the answer to, look up the answer together.
Encourage praise and worship at home.
This idea may sound a bit odd, but most of us first feel the presence of God in the midst of worship. Regardless of your child’s age, they are never too young to feel the move of the Holy Spirit. And, it is not you, but God’s Spirit that will guide your kids into all truth (John 16:12-15).
You can encourage praise and worship in many ways. A simple one is to play Christian music that you enjoy in the car, or around the house. Keep the music playing while you are working around your home, or play it softly at dinner time.
If your kids are young, you can get them children’s praise CDs, and let them dance and sing with the music. There are even DVDs with fun cartoons that lead your child in worship. If you have older children, every genre of secular music has a Christian counterpart – Hard Rock, Alternative, even Rap. Encourage them to buy a few MP3s until they find an artist that they connect with. Even if you do not like the sound, the Christian message is what will mold their hearts.
Raising Christian children up for the Lord is an ongoing proactive journey. It’s not easy by any means. But, as you watch them grow into the young men and women that He predestined them to be, it all becomes well worth it.