How Do You “Train A Child?”

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

How do you train a child? Is anything more important than training the next generation? Can this be put off?

What can we do to touch the next generation with the gospel and equip them for what they need in life?

First, start immediately to influence your children for God. With the way children grow, this is not something that can be put off. I usually say that parenting is 24/7 and there are no days off. Everything counts with children.

Second, don’t say “do as I say, not as I do.” As I have observed families and children over the years, this attitude is a sure way to build in resentment and rebellion in children. Children work well with examples. They don’t work well without a picture of what you want them to become. You are that picture.

You will not always get it right. You will have to apologize. Your children will actually respect you more when you speak truth to them.

Third, be consistent. Determine what behaviors you want and don’t want and stick with them all the time. Not enforcing what matters or being inconsistent confuses children.

Finally and above all else, put God first. Many parents make church and God just one more good thing for children. Church and God fit on a par with dance lessons or soccer. God will not accept or bless anything that makes Him an equal to anything else. He must be first, and He must be Lord.

Make your church attendance and Bible Study consistent. If your children ask if we’re going to church today, you have not reached your goal.

Children need many other areas of encouragement, but these are basic concepts which must enter into your training your child.

It’s a major job, but it’s well worth it. May God bless you as you lead your children.

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5 Responses

  1. Well said.

    I have mentioned Family Psychologist John Rosemond and again offer his website at This year he has hammered home the argument of a two parent home. A home where in the parents are focused on each other showing respect to each other. A home where the wants of the child are not elevated above everything else in the home. He argues that the needs of the child are met when they realize the world does not revolve around them. The following is a quote from March 27, 2013.

    “American parents have been listening to professional psycho-babblers tell them how to raise children since the late 1960’s. I (John Rosemond) was in graduate school at the time, and my professors thought the babblers were geniuses, sent by some New Age divinity to correct all the egregious wrongs parents had done to children since time immoral…. the age of Aquarius has yet to dawn. Child mental health in America, across the demographic spectrum has declined markedly in the last fifty or so years…”

    Another article recently addresses a mother who asks what is wrong with her because she finds herself screaming at her children. The answer: You are trying to be nice. She is trying to be her child’s friend reasoning with a child who is not capable of understanding more than: “I am you mother, I love you.” In another article he points out how character development grows out of allowing a child to be responsible and have accountability.

    Seems as I look around, and at times in the mirror, many parents haven’t finished growing. Rather emphasizes your point, “to put God First” and with some things: if a child has to ask a question, a lot more is wrong than the parent child relationship.


  2. I have learned two, of very many, important things about raising kids:
    1) You find it hard to kill anyone you are praying for.
    2) Patience. When “they are old” might mean that they’ll “get it” after you are long dead. He has used my kids to develop that part of the Fruit of the Spirit. #1 refers to Self Control.
    Ask me how i know…

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