Family, Life, Personal

Train-ing Children

Growing up, I had a small card on my dresser that had my name, its definition, and Proverbs 22:6.


Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.


As a youngster, I was fascinated by trains! I had several toy models and pictures of them in my room and would look with eager anticipation anytime we came across some tracks to see if an engine would come whizzing by. Of course, the verse on the card was not talking about steam locomotives, but the mind of a child sees what is obvious at the time. When I read “train up a child,” I literally thought of turning kids into trains! Honestly, it’s actually not that far off.

Think about it for a second. Train engines require a lot of care and attention in order to perform the tasks they were created for. Each one requires a specific type of fuel to operate efficiently. Overindulging that fuel could lead to serious issues just as not getting enough could. Use the wrong fuel and there could be other complications that require a thorough cleaning to avoid major problems. Cannot all those things be said about kids? Both on a physical and spiritual level, children need to be cared for. They need to be fed proper fuel that will help them grow and do the things they were created to do.

What about the cars that are connected to the engine? I’ve often thought of the cars as the various responsibilities we collect in life. Before an engine ever has a car hitched up to it, it has to prove itself capable of doing the job. We don’t give our four-year-olds the responsibility of cleaning the gutters on the house because they are not ready to do that job. We can give them the job of picking up toys or even emptying their trash can into the bigger trash can as a way of preparing them for the bigger responsibilities life will bring. Consider the time that a passenger car will be added to your child’s life!  What greater responsibility is there than caring for others?

All that being said, the train engine is really only as good as the track it is placed on. Trains are typically made to fit only one gauge, the distance between rails. If the gauge is too wide or too narrow, the engine is inevitably going to derail. It might be able to make it for a little while, but it will be a bumpy, tough-going ride. When an engine is on the track it was intended for, it’s a smooth ride allowing the engine to perform at its best. Kids are a little different than engines in this area because they can jump from track to track on their own. This is why it is vital for parents to show them the proper track to run on to avoid making mistakes in the future. Sound familiar?


Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.


Parents have a very important responsibility in raising their children. Kids need to be fed with the truth found in God’s Word. As they grow, they need to be directed towards the path God has for them. Yes, there will be bumps along the way, but, if God and His Word are the foundation, they will have the tools necessary for getting back on track.

Remember to “train” up your children as you faithfully…

Walk in Him!

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