Proverbs 22:6 New Life Version (NLV)
Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.
Recently, a child of ours (who shall remain nameless in order to protect his/her identity!) was dutifully completing their morning chores and independent homeschool work for the day. Halfway through our lesson together however, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper that all the required subjects had not been completed. I stopped what we were doing and instructed the child to retrieve their school schedule. I asked about the first assignment,
“What did you read about in the Bible today?”
“Yes, Bible. What did you read about?”
“Um….I forgot about the Bible, but I’m gonna do it!”
I continued down the list, asking specific questions regarding the subjects and activities that were supposedly completed. Tears began to emerge from the child’s eyes but the lips continued to mutter dishonest responses in an attempt to avoid the inevitable.
“Child,” I said “you didn’t forget. You deliberately chose NOT to do your schoolwork, because you wanted to hurry up and go play with your friends.”
Tears and sobs.
“Why are you crying, child?”
“Because, I’m ….in….TROUBLE!!!!”
“Why are you in trouble?”
“Because, you….are…..mad….at ME!”
“Why would I be mad at you?”
“Because, I…didn’t….do….my schoolwork!”
“No. I’m mad because you disobeyed. I’m mad because you lied. I’m mad because you tried to cover it up.”
More tears. Louder sobbing.
“Why are you so upset?
“Because, I’m… in…. TROUBLE!!!”
“Child, you’re not in trouble, you’re guilty.”
“You’re upset because you got caught – not because you were convicted of sin. So, in order to train you in the way you should go (obedient & truthful), I’m going to discipline you. I discipline you because I love you.”
Hebrews 12:6 New Living Translation (NLT)
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.
“You are confined to your bedroom and our yard. You may not play with your friends today. And, you will go back and complete ALL your subjects.”
Then the principal (aka, my husband!) re-enforced the training. He read Ephesians 6:1, prayed over and exhorted our child to confess and repent. An hour or so later, that young student humbly came to the teacher (me) and whispered “mommy, I’m sorry I disobeyed…would you please forgive me?”
“Yes, child, I forgive you.”
Like the child I am now training, I have disobeyed, lied and tried to cover up my sin. But I’ve learned to put away childlike things (1 Corinthians 13:11) and humble myself before the Father.
Over and over again, He’s forgiven me.
Over and over again He’s hugged me.
Over and over again He’s shown mercy.
Over and over again He’s disciplined me – because He loves me.
Over and over again He’s delivered me from evil.
Over and over again He’s restored my soul.
As a parent, I’ve discovered that I can only train our children in the way that they should go if I know the way. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
Do you know the way?
Are you going the wrong way?
Are you upset because you keep getting caught?
Dear child, allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin. Humble yourself before the Father. Confess. Repent. Be forgiven. Be delivered from evil. Then discipline your flesh, obey the way, and train your children.