Saturday, July 29, 2017

July 30, 2017

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

I remember the first time I was involved in a church building program. I was very anxious to see that beautifully designed building become a reality on our recently purchased property! Even though it was four decades ago, I recall clearly when they began digging the hole for the foundation. After they dug out the hole they began pouring the footings and then the floor and basement walls. To an anxious young pup that I was, it seemed it took forever to get that foundation in place! Intellectually I understood the importance of a solid foundation but emotionally I wanted to see those walls rise and the roof put on so the community could see that a new church was about to be opened!

That building stands strong today on Dover Road in Princeton, Illinois because a good foundation was laid under it! I am glad the construction workers didn't share my impatience!

The wisest man who ever lived expounded on the importance of building a strong foundation under your children. And, he gives you some practical insights on how to do it!

When he uses the word "train" he is offering a word loaded with meaning! I will devote the next several articles on exploring the four facets of Solomon's instructions. “Train” is a loaded word in the Hebrew language in which it was originally written and you can render it several ways: “to narrowto initiate or disciplineto dedicate" or, as I will interpret them: "to define", "to direct", "to discipline" and "to dedicate".

A good foundation for a child begins with defining who you are as a family who follows Christ and who bases your values and decisions upon the Word of God. That needs to happen early and often. Your child should know clearly what it means to be a Snyder, or a Thomas, or a Brown, or a Medina, or a Kline, or a Beasley, or a Jones, or a Clark, or a Tippey, etc.

Also, a strong foundation for your child requires a direction. Direction is given first by example. Lead them by the example of your walk. Direction is given by exhortation. As you show them the way, also tell them the way. Put clear guardrails along their path and impose consequences for veering off course.

"Training" a child requires consistent defining and persistent directing but will put good solid footings under your child's foundation for a lifetime!