What a joy it is to train a child on a certain task and see them perform it as expected. These little creatures watch us closely and before long, they begin to behave like us. It is therefore important that we take precaution in our daily happenings for the sake of transferring only the right attributes to them. The same applies to the principles of the Kingdom of God. Just as your child will learn how to walk, talk, smile and even clap by watching you and others do it, so does he or she learn of and about God.
Picture of hands courtesy of David Niblick at Imagebase
Have you ever wondered why God used the word ‘suffer’? Does it sound too strong to be used in the same sentence as the word ‘child’? The first time I came across this verse, I was perplexed. I know that there are other translations that have used different words in the place of ‘suffer’, but this is purely for the sake of a better understanding to the target audience. After experiencing motherhood, I now support this word completely. It basically means that we have to do what it takes to ensure that these children catch the Kingdom Culture; we have to ensure that they do not miss heaven! Moreover, we have to do this while they are still young, so that we do not regret in the future when it is too late.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
A good example would be potty training. When they are born, children live on diapers as much as milk. There’s no greater joy to a mother than a child who has done a poop. At this stage, the diaper captures fieces; the only communication the infant’s body has with the doctor in case of an infection since speech has not been developed. As soon as the child is able to speak, potty training commences, and this process is very delicate as well as very important. Did you know that delayed toilet training puts children at a higher risk of developing bladder problems such as daytime incontinence, bed wetting and recurrent Urinary Tract Infections? For more information go to http://www.parentingscience.com/science-of-toilet-training.html. If potty training is not done at home, it will have to be done in school and the parent will have no control of the methods used. This may lead to low self esteem. In the same breath, if we don’t teach our children who God is, someone else will teach them everything that He’s not.
Teaching our children the ways of God does not necessarily entail a blackboard, some chalk and a stick. These little beings catch anything and everything. What does this mean? Our lives should mirror Christ. Monkey see, monkey do. The same God who has entrusted these kids to us is more than willing to guide us on this process, remembering that he is the Author and Perfecter of our lives, He is the Beginning and the End, He knew us (our children included) even before we were born. Our work therefore as parents and guardians is not only to nurture our children into physical successes, but also to unfold the Kingdom Agenda to them and help them find where they fit into it and together as the body of Christ we will be able to reconcile this world back to God.
Daliela Watkins says it clearly on the video below: