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Train up a Child - Live life with your kids - Issue 073
September 26, 2008
Hi there! ....

This week:

This week we celebrate Jessica’s 14th Birthday. How time has flown by. Each birthday we reminisce – their birth, their life and God’s hand on them. We remember those cute (and not so cute) toddler antics and we remember the struggles and the joys of her childhood. Today we see a young woman in the making, one who loves God and seeks his face daily, one who is responsible and who pursues the gifts and talents God has given her. She is a joy to have in the home, someone I giggle with, someone I talk with and someone whom I rely on greatly. Thank you Jess for giving yourself to our family.

Live life with your kids!

Beyond the Quote
Train up a Child

Train up a child in the way he should go
Prov 22:6a

In reading this passage recently I asked myself a string of questions...

He should go? What way should my child go? The only answer that is satisfactory is “the way that God desires for him to go”.

What way does God want my child to go? When I asked this question I had to remember that God has created us as complex beings, with many facets; there is the spiritual dimension of our life, along with the academic, the physical, the social and emotional. It is easy to apply this scripture to only one aspect of our life, but God sees us as whole, and we need to consider His Word for our whole life, for our child’s whole life.

In the Social areas, what way does God want my child to go?
In the Emotional areas, what way does God want my child to go?
In the Physical areas, what way does God want my child to go?
In the Academic areas, what way does God want my child to go?
In the Spiritual areas, what way does God want my child to go?

The Amplified Bible inserts a qualifying phrase; in keeping with his individual gift or bent. I believe that God has created us all unique, He created us with a purpose and He has the intention of bringing that purpose to fruition. So why do we need to train? Why are parents instructed to train their children?

We are all born with a sin nature – into this world of sin. This is the very reason why we need a Saviour. God gives us a choice, it seems odd to us at times, why would He do that when He is an all knowing God? Doesn’t He know that some will choose to walk away from Him?

God gives us, the parents, the task to train our children, to give them an opportunity to choose God for themselves. When I looked into the Hebrew meaning of the word “train” I found three words that gave me fresh thought

  • train
  • dedicate
  • inaugurate

I think we are all familiar with the concept of training – athletes train, soldiers train, we get training at a new job. It is being taught a new skill and practicing that skill until it becomes second nature.

To dedicate means to set aside for a purpose. When someone is dedicated to a purpose that is all encompassing, it involves their whole life. Do we dedicate our children to the purpose God has for them? This isn’t a one off decision; this decision needs to affect our every day life.

To inaugurate something is to initiate, to begin or to commence something. We are to initiate our children on the path that God desires for them; later in life it will be their decision which way they will go.

When I considered these words it was easier to see that my child’s whole life, every aspect was to be my parental concern. It isn’t just about preparing their hearts so that they choose to follow Christ (though this is very important), it isn’t just about giving them opportunity to be their unique self, it is about setting my children’s feet on a path where their whole life (physical, emotional, academic, social, and spiritual) is committed to God’s and His ways for their life.

To do this we need to

  • Have God’s ways in our own heart, we need to live them out before we can train our children. (Deut 6.6) We need train our children in thought, action and deed, so that their daily choices are based on the Word of God.
  • Have our own life dedicated to God’s purposes. It is so easy to allow our lives to clutter up with extra stuff, with our own dreams and goals for example. These things can distract us from God’s purposes. When our own lives are full of distractions it doesn’t take long before we allow our children’s lives to be cluttered as well. Everything we do must be in line with God’s purpose for His children.
  • We must keep on going, once we have begun. Can you think of a great community project, it started with great aplomb and yet personnel changed and passion died, soon there was only remnants of a great idea. We cannot let this happen in our family. Our commitment will drive our consistency.

But how do I know what God wants of my child? This is a good question. And yet we get distracted by it. Yes, I believe that God will reveal His purposes for each of us – in His time. The Bible is God’s Word and it is written so that we do know what God’s desire is for us are. God’s Word tells us what path to take, what habits to form, what character to develop, what course of life to take.

How shall a young man keep his way pure? By taking heed and keeping watch (on himself) according to Your word (conforming his life to it) With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of You and yearning for You; oh let me not wander or step aside (either in ignorance or willfully) from Your Commandments. Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me your statutes. Psalm 119:9-12 (Amp.)

When God gives clear instruction, such as He is giving to parents here, to train up their child, there is an understanding that we are able to carry out such an instruction. He gives us no more than we can handle. And yet, the Old Testament is proof plenty that we cannot do this on our own, we need the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Call out to Him and He will answer you.

Website Updates

There are no new additions to Lifestyle Homeschool this week.

Christmas is coming! Jessica has written a list to help kids get ready for Christmas though I am using this simple list to organise myself too. Christmas minus Trauma and Drama. (pdf file) I believe her lists focuses on the real stuff we need to do, and makes getting ready for Christmas happen without stopping the rest of our life. Check it out - Christmas is less than 100 days away.

If you are using her list I am sure she'd appreciate some feedback

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Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life is a Resource for Education – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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