Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV)
|Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.||Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.||Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.|
The book of Proverbs is a collection of short sayings that have great wisdom and advice, providing a firm, wise, and Biblically moral foundation. If we read them literally, they sound like promises. We must remember though, that wisdom can be learned and internalized, but still not utilized in daily life. With the free will that we have, there is no guarantee that wisdom will be applied as we live our lives.
Children get wisdom from many places: their parents, television, teachers and classmates at school, neighbors, etc. It is crucial that they are provided the proper Biblical instruction on a consistent basis. This must start at an early age, and leave little room for the counter-influences to become the wisdom they internalize. The hope is that the impression left by the instruction will stick with the children as they encounter various situations.
The best instruction does not come from words, but from modeling. Children are observant, and they pick up the little things they see on a daily basis: love, humility, generosity, honesty, but also selfishness, laziness, impatience, and dishonesty.
- Have your child identify the role models in his life. Be sure to dig deeper into what that person is modeling. Also be sure to dig into negative role models. This is a good time to just listen. It is important that your child feels comfortable opening up to you without judgment. Make notes about things to that concern you, but hold those discussions in reserve for the future.
- Talk with your child about this year of devotions. Explain what will be involved, and why it is important to you to complete this project with your child.