We raise pigs, chickens, cattle and so forth. When raising these animals our goal is to hold them strengthen them, fatten them, make them more appealing on a higher level so we can eat them. However, there are some animals that we train. We can train dogs or train cats. In these cases we are teaching them, teaching a skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time. Another definition of training is to point or aim towards a mark, guiding something. When dogs are trained, they are essentially being taught how to act, how to behave when company comes, not to bark at certain times, how to not pee all over the house and they have these skills throughout life. Once we train them sometimes we tie them up in our back yards, keep them indoors or we may place a fence around them so they don’t get loose and run off. The difference between raising and training is that in one instance we are intentionally spending time with that thing or animal so that they are trusting of us in leading them in the right direction.
Anyone can raise a kid, like raising an animal. You can provide shelter, food and leave them be to do what they want. Like free range chickens. But to train a child requires time spent. Just like with a dog that gets trained, if we are so careful to make sure our dog doesn’t get out and cause mischief, why are we not with our children? Instead, we raise them, then let them run free like chickens. I’m not saying lock them up of course, but boundaries should be set. We wouldn’t give keys to a three year old and say okay, go for a drive. When my father gave me this analogy it stuck with me like glue. I pondered it, read some definitions and took new revelation from the scripture which reads in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I had to ask myself, am I training my girls or am I raising them? To raise is good, they need shelter, food, clothes and all the things to survive. But training them is God. I’ve heard it say everything good isn’t God. Like an arrow that you point and aim to hit the mark, they are arrows, they need guiding, they need instruction on going the right way.
Our children will make mistakes, they will veer to the left, maybe once or a few times. But the teachings that we give them from Gods word, if done according to his word, will stick with them through life and bring them out of every circumstance with more of Gods wisdom. I’m so grateful to my parents for not just raising me, but training me. The mistakes I’ve made could have had a different outcome if the Lord wasn’t on my side. Parents lets make sure we are training our children and teaching them the way of the Lord like it was suppose to be. They are to learn from us and it’s to carry on from generation to generation leaving a legacy of faith. Use your time in every situation to train, teach, guide, point your children in the right direction. One of my favorite verses is Deuteronomy 6:7-9 it says, You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house (while eating, playing), when you walk by the way (while driving), when you lie down (bedtime prayers), and when you rise up (morning devo). You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (hang scriptures around the home). When I read this verse I look at my day to day life and use whatever time or moments God has given me to pour his word into my children. Sometimes it’s very random and the Holy Spirit is just on my heart to say something to them. Don’t say you don’t have time, use every moment even if it’s a small prayer or scripture, stay in His word for yourself so that you are equipped to train your child.
For His Glory,