“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
What does it mean to ‘train up’ our children?
Chad’s parents invested their time and energy into training him up in the way of the Lord. He shares his appreciation for passing on tangible discipleship techniques.
“I’m really thankful for the way that my parents trained me up in the Lord in really practical ways. My parents had me memorize scripture.”
Although Chad explains that his parents didn’t always use the ‘best’ incentives, there is proof that these techniques worked in his life.
“My dad offered to pay me money to memorize scripture. He knew that I was monetarily motivated for things in life even as a kid, so I don’t know if his incentive was right, but I will say this: the end result was awesome. I ended up memorizing a lot of scripture before I ever left home.”
As an 8th grader, Chad memorized Proverbs 31 and shares how that greatly changed his perspective of women.
“It talks about a great woman who fears the Lord who is worth more than rubies, it says, and who is difficult to find but if she fears the Lord is to be praised above all other women. Just as a young as an eighth grader, memorizing a whole proverb about the kind of woman to look for really stuck with me.”
There is more to training up children than using clever incentives, but also recognizing the spiritual investment that is taking place in their hearts.
“If you’re talking about a business analogy, the return on investments that you spend with your kids and investing God’s word into their hearts is incredible.”
Chad’s mom used a discipleship technique with them right before bedtime to deepen the relationship between them and with God.
“One thing my mom did that was awesome is she trained me to pray before I went to sleep. She would come in before going to sleep and tuck me in, but instead of just saying good night she would just say ‘Hey real quick, what was the pit and peak of your day?’” and I thought it was a little cheesy, but she was saying was, ‘What was the best and the worst time that you had today?’”
This created an atmosphere of relationship and trust in the Harrington household, where not only the children would respond to the questions, but then she would answer too so they would continue building into their relationship.
“She quickly translated that relational connection that we had and we prayed about those things to the Lord, then I would go to sleep.”
Chad’s parents used a variety of intensives and techniques in discipling their children, but it’s applied differently in every home. Pray continually and ask God to help you discover what discipleship techniques would work best for your children.