Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6, ESV
This may be one of the most quoted Proverbs of the Bible. There is a lot of chatter about its full meaning and some debate. Isn’t that the way of most truth? A trend that came out of the sixties and seventies was parents raising their kids to “make their own choices” when it came to faith. I have heard it said, “My parents forced religion down my throat, and that is why I am not really religious today. I raised my kids so they could choose for themselves.” The great question is this, “What choice are you giving a child if they are not raised in the faith?” Christianity is not like the Israelite faith, which is tied to a nation of people. We are born into Christian homes, but there are no native Christian people. Yet, we are chosen by God and cleaved into the promise of the Israelites through Jesus Christ. The calling of an Israelite father was to teach his sons and daughters the Word and the calling of God. This is true for the Christian father also. Teaching begins by living it in the household and letting it be taught as we wake up, written on the doorposts of our house, and as we walk along paths with our children. As we teach, we are able to write upon the hearts of our children the truth of the faith we hold. It is not forcing religion into the hearts of our children but living the truth of God in our lives for our children to witness and live within. If we are living what we believe, the lessons that we teach will be lived out in the lives of our children. This includes how we teach through our errors and how we receive God’s correction in our lives. Our children learn just as much from our shortcomings as they do from our doing things correctly. A father’s life is a chalkboard for our children’s classroom of faith in which we write the formula of what we follow and what we believe.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.