A little while back I was speaking with my son-in-law and he gave me an idea that I want to exercise today.
A couple weeks before I left to head out west, I preached a message on Sunday morning called ‘Why Church’. The message dealt with the importance of attending church. I know some of you might remember, but others either missed it or ignored it judging by our Wednesday night service.
But Gator said to me “You should do a series building off that message. You could do several topics such as ‘Why serve’, ‘Why Witness’, ‘Why Tithe’, etc.” I told him that was a great idea and given that he offered it, I would not only give him credit, but also allow him to present a topic himself.
That being said, I want to take this opportunity today to preach on this topic ‘Why Train’. I thought this would be appropriate given the change that I’ve made concerning the nursery here at church. If you’re unaware, we will not be offering the nursery during every service, by only for the MWS moving forward. There are several reasons for this, but they all boil down to and are rooted in the need for us to be training of our children.
Today we are going to examine ‘Why Train’ speaking of our children. What it is, what it means and what it looks like.
I do believe that if the principles that are found in this message are diligently applied to a child at a young age, you will look back and enjoy the fruit that will follow.
That being said, let’s look first at the Particulars of Training
I. The Particulars of Training
I. The Particulars of Training
The Definition of Training
Oxford (def) teach (a person or animal) a skill or type of behaviour through regular practice and instruction. (train something on) point or aim something at.
Strongs (def) 2596. חָנַךְ chânak, khaw-nak´; a prim. root; prop. to narrow [comp. 2614]; fig. to initiate or discipline:—dedicate, train up.
So when we’re talking about training, it obviously includes teaching. However, teaching is only a part of it.
(Ill.) There is a movie that is called ‘King Richard’. I have not seen the movie, nor do I endorse it. I’m using it as illustration because I understand what it is based on. The movie is based on Venus & Serena Williams’ dad Richard. I’m assuming you know the William’s sisters and their success at tennis…? Venus won Wimbledon 5x and Serena won 23 Grand Slam Championships. Anyway, you see, Richard didn’t just teach those girls the sport of tennis - he trained them to be tennis players.
We parents are not simply supposed to teach our kids about life, but we are to train them on how to live! We’ll get in to what that looks like in a bit.
We see the Definition of Training
The Necessity of Training
We’re Instructed To:
God has been good to me. He has blessed me with the blessing of Salvation. He’s given unto me a wonderful wife - and He’s blessed me with two children.
One thing that we need to understand is that the blessing of children comes with the necessity of responsibility. The Bible tells us of course in our text: Pro. 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It also tells us: Eph. 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
(Turn) De. 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”
We parents have a great and grave responsibility to raise our children - IN THE WAY THEY SHOULD GO!
We (Christians) are instructed to Train them
If we Don’t, Someone Else Will
Church / Parents - if you fail to recognize this great responsibility, and you fail to make it a priority in your life to train them in the way they should go - rest assured… someone else will train them - and NOT in the way they should go.
Music will train them
Most popular music today celebrates fornication, drugs, drinking, living in the moment, living for self, the occult - that’s the value system of pop music today - it’s been that way for over 40 years and it’s not gotten any better, it’s simply gotten worse.
Let me side-step one second and give you one of the many reasons I detest contemporary Christian music - because it wants to sound just like that perverted mess, but with ‘Godly’ lyrics.
You can clean the mud off a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can try to clean up garbage music by changing the lyrics, but it’s still garbage, worldly music.
TV will train them
Yes - plop your kids down in front of Blue’s Clues today: They will learn how ‘P’ stands for ‘Pride’ and see a gay pride parade. Or you can watch two male rats get married on the kids show Arthur. Or two male cartoon characters kiss on the Proud Family - or having a gay couple introduced on Sesame Street. THESE ARE KIDS SHOWS!
Unfortunately, one of the great babysitters of the last 40 years has been the television. There’s toddlers that have a screen in front of their faces all the time to shut them up! Church let me tell you - we’re playing right into Satan’s hands when we do this.
The Internet will train them
Let me tell you something - the internet is a world of wickedness at the fingertips of not only teens, but adults as well.
One of the most dangerous things you can do is allow your teens to have unfiltered access to the internet. I would not let your child have access to the internet behind a closed door - because the internet will train them.
Facebook / Instagram / TikTok will train them
(Ill.) I saw a new commercial the other day where Tide was promoting their new child-proof lid to their tide pods. Do you all remember the Tide-pod challenge? It’s where people were taking these plastic wrapped detergents and swallowing them. Or there was one called the ‘Kylie Lip Challenge’ where teens would put their mouths on bottles and such the air out to try and get bigger lips.
These are just two that went viral. Yes, social media will train your kids if you won’t
Celebrities will train them
Church, I don’t know about you - but I don’t want my children growing up to be like the Kardashians. I don’t want them idolizing people who make fornication ‘cool’. I don’t want their ambition in life to be focused on their looks, money or fame. But if you don’t watch out, you might let go of the reigns and allow Bruce Jenner to take them up and raise your child.’
Because celebrities will train them
Their friends will train them
Let’s say that you protect them from the internet and the social media and the TV and music. But if you don’t monitor the friends that they keep, their friends will train them. And they most likely are going to be the ones influenced by the TV, Music, Social Media, etc.
Their friends will train them
Predators will train them
Daddy’s let me say this: Make sure you give your little girls the attention they deserve so that they don’t go seeking that male influence somewhere else.
Because predators will train them
I promise you this: If you don’t train them - someone else most assuredly will!
We see the Necessity of Training
Now that we have established the Definition and Necessity of Training our Children, we’ll look at the Process of Training - what does properly training them look like
II. The Process of Training
II. The Process of Training
The Practical Requirements
It Requires Time
This is a big one church. It requires time.
Satan wants nothing more for you than to keep you busy. He doesn’t need to make your life miserable to make you ineffective - he just needs to keep you busy.
And so many Christians are guilty of neglecting our children to focus on ourselves. I know parents who let the kids fend for themselves because their too busy on Facebook! This is why we plop them down in front of the TV, or give them phones to watch teletubbies - to keep them out of our hair so we can do what we want to do!
But church, if you’re going to train your children properly, it’s going to take time. There’s no way around it.
It Requires Labor
Training your children requires labor. It’s not an easy thing.
(Ill.) One of the negatives that I recieved when I brought up the new nursery program was that some mothers might not come because they will have to tend to their children during service. Let me just say, that’s the wrong way of looking at it. I know it’s going to be a chore - especially at first if they’re not used to it - but your children need to be around the Word of God, and they need to see you in the congregation of God!
Parenting is hard - all the time. Church should not the place where we take a break from our parental duties, it’s the very place and very thing that we should be most diligent in as parents!
Training requires Labor
It Requires Repetition
It’s said that “Repetition is the mother of learning”. I believe the Bible bears this truth.
If you study the Scriptures, you’ll see repetition throughout. For instance, the word ‘Created’ is found in Scripture 53x. In all instances, it is speaking to the fact that God is the Creator of all things. There’s reason for this, namely that Satan desires for man to think that there is no God and everything just evolved from nothing.
There are four Gospels - in them you’ll find several instances of the same historical event repeated.
Even the 10 commandments are listed twice.
Repetition helps us learn. So parents, you must understand that repetition is necessary when training our children.
Brining this back to the nursery situation - if you’re starting out training your child to stay in the main service, it might be a challenge at first. And if all you do is bring them a couple times a month, you’re likely not going to train them. This is why repetition is important. If you stick with it, they will learn.
Training requires Repetition
It Requires Dedication
This is not something that can be hit and miss. It’s something that needs to permeate your actions and interactions with your children 24/7/365. You must be dedicated to the task at hand. You don’t take days off or lower your guard.
Some will say ‘That’s exhausting’ - yeah, maybe, but aren’t your kids worth it?
I’ve met many men who are dedicated to their jobs - yet are not dedicated to training their children. What a shame! Which do you think is more important???
Training your children requires dedication
It Requires Focus
What this means is that there should be a singular goal (which we’ll get to in a second).
If you desire for your child to be Godly, then you can’t pollute their life with worldly things at the expense of the Spiritual.
(Ill.) What I mean by that is this: If your child is a skier (I’ll use that so as no one feels as though I’m pointing them out). But ski practice is on Wednesday. 10 times out of 10 you should have your child at the House of God instead of ski practice. Because the alternative is this: If you take them to ski practice when church is going on and you could have been at church - you are training him that you value skiing more than you value God in his life. You are saying to them skiing > God - because you are CHOOSING to nurture skiing over the things of God. You’re spending your time and talents on skiing instead of in the House of God.
If your goal in life is to make them the best skier they can be, then you might accomplish that - just know that it will be at the Sacrifice of their Spiritual walk with the LORD and fulfilling their purpose that God has for them.
Training your children requires focus
It Requires Discipline
I’m not speaking of discipline in what you are doing - I’m speaking of disciplining your child.
Remember the repetition, right? The Bible says:
Pro. 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
Pro. 19:18 “Chasten thy son while there is hope, And let not thy soul spare for his crying.”
Pro. 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
Pro. 23:13 “Withhold not correction from the child: For if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”
Let me tell you how to train your child to behave in service:
Depending on their age, you bring quiet, non-distracting things for them to occupy with.
When they begin to act up, you firmly tell them that the way they’re behaving is unacceptable
If the problem isn’t resolved, you take them out and you introduce them to the rod of correction.
Once they stop crying and carrying on, you bring them back in and expect them to behave.
If they don’t, wash rinse & repeat.
‘But I don’t like whipping my child’
It’s not about what you like, it’s about what’s good for them
‘I don’t think spanking a child is right’
Well I guess you know better than God.
Training requires discipline.
It Requires Sincerity
What I mean by that is that all of this that you do needs to be communicated from a perspective that the child understands why you are dealing with them in this manner.
And a child will not understand why you want them to live Godly if you don’t.
A child will not understand that you discipline them out of love if you don’t spend time with them.
A child will not understand that Godliness is priority if you keep putting other things before the Things of God
Training requires sincerity
I have two children that have known me their whole lives. I believe that if you went to either one of them, they will tell you two things:
Daddy’s not perfect - but daddy’s authentic.
Training requires Sincerity
It Requires An ‘End’ in Mind
Pro. 22:6 - “…in the way he should go...” This is the goal for your children.
What you need to determine is what ‘way’ that is. What is your goal for your children?
Is your goal for them to be a good citizen?
Is your goal for them to be financially successful?
Is your goal for them to be famous?
Is your goal for them to be happy?
Let me say church, that I believe that ‘the way he should go’ is none of these things. Our goal as parents should be to raise Godly Men and Women.
Now let me elaborate for a moment:
We should desire them to be Godly above all else.
If we raise them to be Godly, then they will accomplish their purpose in life. If we raise them to be happy - they most likely will not.
Two reason I say that:
If we raise them to be happy, their goal will be to satisfy their flesh to make them happy. If they do this, they certainly cannot live Spiritual.
Thank God Jesus’ goal wasn’t happiness. I’m sure He would have avoided the Cross if it was
Thank God Paul’s goal wasn’t happiness. He would not have suffered persecution to share the Gospel like he did.
Thank God Peter, John, James, Andrew’s goal wasn’t happiness. They Gospel may have died out in 34AD.
We should be training then to be men and women
We’re not training them to be children - that’s what they are. We’re training them to be men and women.
Too many people have the attitude of letting ‘kids be kids’. So they coddle them in their childish ways. The problem is they were never properly trained to become a man or woman, and you have grown people in their 20’s & 30’s who still live like children. Except now they drive, vote and are raising children of their own.
We should be training them to be men and women - not children. So there must be that goal you’re striving for
It Must Be On Purpose
You will not train your child up to be a Godly person by accident. It will be on purpose, or not at all.
It must be On Purpose
The Spiritual Requirements
We must bathe our children in prayer. We should be praying:
That they put their trust in Jesus
That they walk by faith
That God grants them wisdom and guides their steps
That God put a hedge of protection around them
That they stay true to the LORD in times of temptation
We need to bathe our children in prayer
Our children are not perfect, nor will they ever be perfect. Do you know why? Because their a product of you and I.
Therefore, when they do mess up, we need to show them Grace. Don’t give up on them, keep on doing your part as a parent.
We show them Grace
We must be that example unto them. We can’t expect our children to live a more-Godly life than what they see in us.
We must be Obedient ourselves unto our Heavenly Father
A Proper Foundation
(In the Word of God)
There is an instruction manual church - it’s called the Word of God.
Not how we were raised
Not how we think
Not what is convenient for us
We must make the Word of God the Foundation for our lives, and the lives of our children
We see the Particulars & the Process of Training - lastly, let’s look at the Permanence of Training
III. The Permanence of Training
III. The Permanence of Training
The Promise of Scripture
Pro. 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
There’s a promise found there church. I believe that if we do our part as parents and train them properly, we’ll enjoy the fruits of that training.
While this message might not be as beneficial to you at this stage of your life, I want to encourage you in this: You never stop being a parent. You can still have an impact on your children.