COMMISSIONED TO TRAIN
Sometimes training only seems applicable in one of two situations: you have a situation coming that you need to prepare for, or you have a current situation that you need to get through or overcome. Many of us can look at our children and know that we need to prepare them for their future of one day being a responsible, mature adult that is submitted to the Lordship of Christ. However, with all of the other daily responsibilities we face, and the little amount of time we have each day to “set aside” to do this—it’s easy for this priority to slip. Especially when each day is just a day in the span of perhaps the 18 years we have available. We might find we have more time—and more urgency—than we realize to train our children, once we realize that training them is not only our responsibility but also an outflow of our everyday interactions with them. While that may seem difficult, the truth is it will actually set you free as a parent and as an influencer in the lives of those around you.
There are countless verses in the Bible about raising our children in the Lord, with most of the root words referring to the word “training” and the various ways in which we do this. Our goal is to train our children in the way they should go so that they will have what they need—if they choose to utilize it—for a Godly life (Proverbs 22:6).
The definition of train means to “direct the growth of,” to “form by instruction, discipline, or drill,” and to “make prepared.” Throughout the instances in the Bible where parents are commanded how to raise their children (even the word nurture is used), it refers to training, educating, disciplining, correcting, preparing, etc. However, Hebrews 12:10-11 makes it clear the aim of our training, “For they [natural fathers] disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He [God] does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” We as parents have been equipped by the Holy Spirit living inside of us to raise our children the way God does. It will look like training them for their benefit, so that they share in God’s holiness and yield fruits of peace and righteousness in their lives. Therefore, any guilt, shame, or complacency over the training of our children—even when it seems it is not yet necessary—can vanish under the truth of God’s instruction for us as parents to train them in the way they should go.
While raising our children does include discipline, and consequences are necessary and important, this is only one aspect of training our children the way God intends. It is also preparation. Seeing our parenting the way God sees it—training—will help us to realize that every moment is a training moment whether our kids are old enough to understand, have need of that specific training right now, or even whether you have persevered through obstacles in your own life so that your kids won’t have to. In Deuteronomy 6:7, the Lord instructs that “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise…” He goes on to show that even when you find yourself in the land of milk and honey, with all your needs supplied by Him, do not to forget the Lord. Remember His testimonies and teach them to your children, along with His ways. Train them, so that your children and your children’s children will be prepared and set apart to God. Know that God has not only equipped you for this mission, He has also called you to it.
 Merriam-Webster, s.v. “train,” accessed December 7, 2016, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/train.
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