Godly Training

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

Proverbs 22:6

I was asked by a lady at church if I had ever been spanked before, and I laughed as I answered, “Yes, of course.” She told me that she had been spanked only once in her lifetime, and I laughed again as I had been spanked more than once in a day. I have been spanked by principals, aunts, uncles, and I believe a grandma. My behavior was of the nature that required such training sessions, and at times I seemed to be hellbent to go my own way. Proverbs 22:15 states, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Foolishness was bound up inside of me, and I know I was not the easiest kid. I brought trouble to all authority as I often considered commands as suggestions. I knew the drill of placing my hands on the bed, and I knew to bend over and touch my ankles in the principal’s office.

I remember many days my parents being grieved that they had to correct my behavior, and I can hear my sister asking me why I continued to behave in such a way. I am not sure why I was so hardheaded and why I chose to learn the hard way, but I apparently thought things would work out for me in the end. I was filled with regret and angst after being caught, and I promised to do better the next time. My parents stayed on me, and I imagine I gave them an ulcer or two. As I grew older, God worked in my life and I made decisions to do right, only to fall back in rebellion and sin. I hated to know that I disappointed my parents, but I failed to realize that I was sinning against God. My parents gave me countless corrections, and I am not sure where I would be without them. If I think real hard, I can still feel those spankings, and I remember the pain I felt when I sat down after a good one.

I didn’t particularly feel love after these spankings, but I often understood that I was wrong and my parents cared about me. The immaturity of my adolescent self did not see the longterm goals my parents had for me, and I just saw the immediate consequence and physical pain I felt. The spankings were part of my training as well as the talks in between and the countless warnings I received. I remember kids who were not as fortunate as myself and did not get spanked or cried to get out of spankings. My parents never fell for this sham, and I knew better than to try this tactic to get out of correction. Looking back, I appreciate the correction which was more than just spankings, and God only knows where I would be without it. I know I was loved because of the correction I received.

God corrects those whom He loves, and He commands parents to train their children in the way they should go, which includes God’s standard of loving God and loving others. Failure to train and correct a child’s behavior is setting them up for failure in this world, and more importantly, setting them up for failure in the spiritual world. The goal should always be to glorify God, and when we do not correct and train, we are teaching our children that obeying parental authority and obeying God’s authority is not important. Life is a hard teacher and is not enacted in love, but comes with harsh correction devoid of love. God’s way is always the best, even though the top “psychologist” may not agree with the Word of God. We are foolish to look for our children’s best outside of the Word of God, and we would be wise to obey what He has commanded us to do.

Are you struggling to obey the word of God? Did you think you know better than God? Are you listening to the leading authority on child behavior, or are you listening to the ultimate Authority? Are you willing to surrender your will to God’s? Godly parents aim to train their child in the way of eternal life and a life that is pleasing to God. I will be forever grateful for the correction I received, and I know I deserved far more. Joshua 24:15 states, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Who will you choose this day?

Stay in the Fight!

Leave a Comment