Sunday, May 9, 2010

Slow Train A-Comin'

It's interesting to hear people quote scripture.  They've taken their own interpretation and the words out of their mouth become more and more their words.  For instance, a couple of years ago, from the pulpit, I heard the itenerating missionary quote the passage referred to as the Great Commission (Matt 28).  It was "Go into all the world and save souls!"  (It's not, it's "make disciples.")

So we come to the verse found in Proverbs 22:6.  "Teach a child and when he grows up, he will not depart from it."  So all you parents that taught your child and now they're running amok, the scripture is disproven, right?  Well, let's actually not paraphrase and look and see what the verse actually reads:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 
Training is a whole lot more than teaching.  Training encompasses some teaching, but other stuff.  Teaching's easy.  Teaching means I can just throw out some zingers and my parental responsibilities are all fulfilled.  That training stuff is for school, and church.  I mean, that's what Sunday Schools for, right?

I realized when my son was six years old, that I had done a little teaching but had done no training.  I appreciate the Royal Ranger program because it helped guide me on how to train my own son.  But you don't have to have that.  What we decided to do was that my son had to come find me and ask me to work with him every day.  If he didn't, then no media the following day.  Now, I could say no when he came and asked and that wouldn't mean no media.  But it was "training" him to take initiative... to take ownership.

My relationship with my son dramatically changed for the better.  And I mean dramatically.  But not overnight.  Not because I taught him the first aid merit and then dropped him off at church.  Training is a slow, long, deliberate process.  And the fruit is amazing.

I encourage you parents out there, don't just "teach," but train.  It might require you set an example.  It might require that you do some hard work and some heavy lifting.  But the fruit is out of this world.

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