“Train up a child the way he should go, and when he grows old, he will never depart from it” – Proverbs 22:6. – The importance of teaching our kids.This is quite a popular verse, especially when it comes to the topic of parenting. When someone asks for advice on how we should discipline our kids or raise up our children, this is definitely the go-to verse for most of us. But what does this really mean? How deep does this go in our lives? Why do we see pastor’s children go astray when they grew up in the word of God? Why do we see “Christians” who’ve turned against the will of God when they grew up in the faith? Does it mean their parents didn’t teach them the way they should go? Or that the Word of God is no use for them? Let me tell you a story about how this verse became true to the life of a man named Matthew and his sister, Mae.
We can all be lost – even the strongest
Matthew grew up in a Christian family. His father is a very Christ-centered and good man. His mother is also a strong believer who works in the ministry with his father. They are both strong and faithful Christians and very good people, too. Whenever they see someone in need, they are ready to help, even if it means having less than what they need. And because of this, they were blessed.They were not super-rich, but God blessed his mom and dad with jobs that can supply their needs and sometimes, their wants. Matthew has an older sister, Mae and they both grew up going to church every Sunday. They even participated in church ministries. Mae was gifted with the gift of singing and so, she became part of the church worship team. Matthew, on the other hand, grew a passion for learning the drums. And so, he practiced with the musicians and soon became part of the music team. They were also both going to a Christian school and were surrounded by believers. Everything was going well. But not until Mae started high school. And soon after, Matthew followed her, too. It was when their paths began to go the wrong way.
The influence of the world
Let’s continue the story. Mae, who grew up beautiful and with talents, started to discover the joy of worldly things and desires. It was not long before she started going out with friends, joining pageants, and getting into the wrong relationships.Matthew, on the other hand, got new friends, non-believers, and had learned the ways of the world. He started drinking out with friends, smoking, and cutting classes. He started to get into trouble. All of these were happening in the background, even though they still go to church every Sunday. Their parents tried their best to remind Mae and Matthew with love, about the word of God and how that God wants the best for them. Every Sunday, they heard the word of God, but it seemed like their hearts grew callous that it doesn’t penetrate to their hearts anymore. And they continued with their worldly ways. Their parents, however, didn’t stop reminding them and praying for them – keeping faith that God will reveal himself to them, at the right time.
The seeds of faith can still grow in the dark
And it wasn’t long before Matthew found his way back.One evening, while he was drinking out with friends, he got really wasted. They were all wasted and drunk and can barely get up. So there they are, almost dead-drunk, and out of nowhere, one of them talked about God and what they believe in. A drunk man, talking about God. Well, that may not be very unusual. However, it was at this moment that Matthew remembered everything. It was at this state of his mind that he remembered everything that was taught to him, about the love of God. About how God is always there for those who call on Him. He remembered his parents praying for him and telling him how much God loves him. It was at this moment that he found his way back to God. And since then, he started back to the path where he began, before he lost his way. As for his sister, Mae. She got into a very toxic relationship and went on for a few years. It came to a point where she tried to take her own life and was rushed to the hospital for overdosing. And during this moment, God revealed Himself to her – showing her what “unconditional and true love” is. And it wasn’t long before that God showed her the right man for her.
The importance of teaching our kids the Word of God
What can we get from this story? What does it mean to us, personally? As we relate this story to our key verse, we can see these four points. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Point #1: The Word of God is like a seed.We have heard this and we fully know that it is true. The word of God is like a seed. To anyone who hears it, there’s a possibility for it to grow. This is the power of words. And actually, it’s not just the word of God that has that kind of power. Even words coming out of our mouth has their own ability to make or break someone. As the Bible said, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue. – Proverbs 18:21. This is why we have to be careful of the words that come out of our mouths.
Point #2: Children are sponges – they absorb everythingNow, take point 1 and connect this to point 2. We’ve heard about this before – children are like sponges; they have the ability to absorb everything. They learn so easily from what they see, hear or observe. This is why we have always been told to be careful what we say or do in front of children because they can take in everything. And this is the same with teaching them the Word of God. Whatever, they hear or see, as we teach them the word of God, it remains on them. It gets imprinted in their hearts and minds. And even though they tend to put it in the back of their minds, as more things come in, it’s still there, in their subconscious – waiting for a trigger, for a moment to remember them again.
Point #3: As children grow, they are influenced by different factors.We’ve seen this all the time. No matter how much we protect our children, time will come when they would need to go out to the world. And it’s very scary for us parents. This is the very reason why a lot of children, even though they grew up in Christian families, find themselves lost in the world. They get influenced by their peers, classmates, schoolmates, workmates, and just about everyone else. And even though we thought them the Word of God and what God wants, there is still a big possibility of them experimenting and finding things out for themselves. The words we tell them would never make sense to them right there and then.
Point #4: Not lost foreverSo, what’s the use of teaching them the Word of God if they will just end up forgetting it and still doing the opposite of what we teach them? We all have read about the story of the Prodigal Son. And if we did, we would understand that they can be lost for a moment but they will not be lost forever – not when they have the Word of God. The same thing that happened to Matthew and Mae happened to a lot of us. When we were younger, someone told us about the Word of God or prayed for us, and then we forgot about it. But when we were at our darkest, lowest, and humblest moments, that’s when it presents itself again. This is the seed that was planted. The message that remained in our subconscious. The things that we were taught before we were influenced by the world.
God will reveal Himself to those who know Him
The word of God is never lost forever to someone who knows or knew it.Even though these kids will eventually get lost or astray, God will reveal Himself again to them when the time comes. The things that we teach them when they were kids have a way of finding their way to manifest in the lives of these children, as they grow older. And so, this is the importance of teaching our kids the word of God. It is so that they would not depart from it. It is so that, even if they get lost, they can find their way back. Matthew and Mae found their way back. Most of us found our way back. And it is because of the Word of God that we learned as we were growing up.