DIRECTION, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY, LONGEVITY…. Dan Mayfield, M.A. Bible
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Pro 22:6
1. Direction: Parents, do you know the way your child should go? Do you live the way you are training your child to go? You train your child to eat good food or bad food. You train your child to be good or bad with money. You train your child to value education or play. You train up your child to be responsible or not. You do all these things by careful planning or you do by neglect. Training up a child isn’t a haphazard enterprise.
2. Consistency: Parents, day in and day out, do you reward good behavior and discipline bad behavior? Are you consistent or do your friends wonder why you ignore so much bad your children are doing? Consistency means that you keep your word. Yes means yes, and no means no. The child fussing or ranting does not break you down. You don’t bargain or show exasperation, a sign you are losing the battle and out of your league when matching wills with a child. You can’t train up your child if you don’t teach them daily from the Bible and teach them daily to pray. Talk to your kids daily about the awesome things of God and you will teach them the way to go.
3. Intensity: Parents, are you excited about truth? Are you showing steely resolve and unwavering commitment to your children. Parents show intensity for their favorite sports team. They show intensity for their politics. They show intensity for their work. But do your children see how serious you are about doing the will of Almighty God? If your children see no passion for Jesus Christ, why should they think it’s important to you? To raise up a child in the way he should go means you are pretty serious about this job. Show your passion for God.
4. Longevity: Parents, training up the child is a day to day, 365 day a year, job that last for a couple of decades or more. You can’t train them up if you go AWOL. You can’t train them up if you are fooling around and leave the family. Being a Christian is a lifelong commitment to God. Any wavering by you is going to train your children exactly the opposite direction to go. A child needs to look back over the years and be able to say they learned from you a loving example of God’s truth.
The promise “and when he is old, he will not depart from it” is positive and negative. Many never really train with the direction, consistency, intensity, and longevity that it takes to see this wonderful promise. The parent can talk about God’s plan, but without consistency, it will never take. The way you train your child is the way he or she will go. Children aren’t dumb and they see inconsistency as a lack of serious commitment. A parent can have the longevity in the sense that they “always went to church”, but without the intensity, the passion, the children will choose to follow that other thing that you did get so passionate about.
And all of this direction, consistency, intensity and longevity will have lasting influence if it is always done with love. I like what Paul said to Timothy that “the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith”, 1 Tim 1:5. That’s really what parents are striving to develop in their children. God bless you in your raising of children with lots of love.