I would like to talk to you about something that has been on my mind for years, but I have not really heard anyone address it…not in nearly 43 years now.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.(Pro 22:6 KJV)
Now, when I was growing up this verse was thrown out there like “hello” or “goodbye.” It seemed like there was always someone ready, willing, and able to say, “Bible say train ‘em up and they won’t depart from it. If they leave they got to come back!” My question is, just how right and true was/is their interpretation of this verse? Why does it seem that holiness church kids are always chomping at the bit to taste all that the world has to offer? Where is the legacy for God among holiness church families? I’m talking about true, strong legacies? Why aren’t there more who walk with God from youth through adulthood? Why is it that so often the youth walk away from the God only to return (if ever) after satan has beat the stew out of them and slammed them back at the door of the church? I think it has a lot to do with a lack of understanding and blatant disobedience on the part of parents; not always of course, but still much too often.
Proverbs 22:6, I believe, has more to do with teaching children about life. How he/she should live and order their lives. Should they be taught about the Lord? Yes, of course! What I have noticed over the years, however, is that parents often drum in salvation salvation salvation and leave the responsibility for living behind. They drive home the point that God will do any and everything, just follow Him. This is not only wrong, but it helps enforce a skewed view of life. I believe (from experience, as well as watching and listening) most parents who do this live a lifestyle that does not compel a child to stay with God…I’m just saying.
Another Scripture that is touted almost as much as the one above is,
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Eph 6:4 KJV)
Now I think this verse holds a key to why we don’t see enough legacies for the kingdom in the holiness church.
Not raising children to know God and understand His ways is why we don’t see that many real legacies for God among many “holiness” families. I have watched parents, who have supposedly read the Word and heard it taught, permit their children to live outside of the will of God. They raise them up in rebellion. They give them everything secular; teaching them that God is just someone to keep on the side till you need Him. They raise their children to “fit in” — no matter how immodest or ungodly it may be; teaching their children that God doesn’t care about such things. When raising their children they have blended the sacred with the profane to the point their kids have no clue what sacred even means.
It’s really a case of “you can’t give what you ain’t got!” Many parents have not instilled in their children a love and respect for a Holy God. They have not guided their children to cling to their Savior; they haven’t even helped them realize their need for the Savior. They have not taught them who God is, or how to live life God’s way. Instead many are actually teaching their kids that God is just a figment of the religious mind; He is not trustworthy and definitely not worthy of one’s surrender.
While parents are busy “getting their praise on” their children are left unprotected. They have left them open to all manner of perversion through television, music, and so-called friends. What these parents don’t realize is that they have given their children an idol god, one who is okay with worldliness and doesn’t care about what they do. They have given their children to the world while satan stands, licking his chops, waiting to devour them!
We are too close to the end of all things now. These children are not promised time to walk away from the devil’s table. We can say “train them up and they won’t depart,” but the question remains – “what have we trained them to do/be; where have we trained them up to go? “The sad truth is many of them won’t depart from the way we have trained them up!
Children learn by watching what we do and listening to what we say – in that order. The Bible says that to have friendship with the world is to hate God; if we are friends with the world then we are God’s enemy (James 4:4). The Word of God tells us plainly that if we love the world or the things in the world (or its way of doing things) we do not have the love of God in us (1Jn 2:15). How many parents of the holiness church are training their children to HATE God, to be His enemy? How many parents of the holiness church are training their children to [try] and have two masters? How many are instilling the ways of the hypocrite instead of the ways of a True Child of God? When we stand before the Lord will He welcome us with a hug and a “well done good and faithful servant,” or will the children He entrusted to us block our way and their blood be upon our hands?
Jesus told his disciples, “It is inevitable that temptations to sin will come, but how terrible it will be for the person through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. (Luk 17:1-2 ISV)
Let’s hear some chatter out there!
Please, share your thought. I look forward to hearing from you.