“Train a child in the way they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. This training in the Bible refers to a Godly training through church, Scripture, verse memory, teaching, Fruits of the Spirit, and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Sadly, we can train children in the way of the world, and they too will not depart from it.
Athaliah was the daughter of retched Queen Jezebel.
Jezebel taught her daughter well, for when Athaliah’s husband was killed, she began a massacre of her own grandchildren. Her yearning for power blinded her sensibilities, if there were any, eliminating any threat to her position as ruler. As for Herodias’s daughter, daughter of King Herod and Herodias, she too was willing to stoop to murder for her own mother’s gain. She is the one who danced so provocatively in front of her father’s party of guests, he was willing to give this little seductress up to half his kingdom. When asked what she wanted for her lustrous dance, the young “temptress” asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. The training these young lasses learned was hatred, manipulation, sex, and murder.
Training a child involves consistency, perseverance, patience, and love. This training requires you to give a part of your own desires, wants, and needs a sidebar, if you will. I homeschool my children, and focus on their character, education, and growth. I have but one chance at this; my children will never be this age again and I do not want to miss an opportunity to grow with them.
Through this training, I myself have learned so much. Teaching the children the Bible, I have memorized Scripture with them, revisited stories and parables sometimes left forgotten, and cried with them as we work through those hurts caused by adolescence.
Training a child in the ways of the world is also a choice you can make. Giving a child electronics constantly, and letting children watch television unmonitored can awaken desires at a young age. Allowing children to “express their feelings” can be detrimental if you, as the parent, do nothing to curb the attitude, anger, sadness, or selfish desires. If you lack the skills to punish, your child will manipulate the situation. The pretend “cry at will” or say you are not a good parent, all the while receiving no punishment, is ridiculous. You are raising a person who cannot conform, adapt, or function in society, a job, school, or career without throwing a fit when their way is not given to them. How long do you think these children will make out “there”?
Athaliah was trained by a wicked woman; Herodias’s daughter was educated by her dreadful matriarch’s manipulation.
This foundation laid in evil, usually ends in death for Scripture states, “Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops, ‘bring her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her.’ For the priest had said, ‘She must not be put to death in the temple of the Lord.’ So they seized her as she reached the palace grounds, and there she was put to death.” (2 Kings 11:15-16). This training of evil will ALWAYS end in death, physical or spiritual.
What happens if you have trained your child in the ways of the Lord, but they walk away from their faith? I know several cases where young teens have “spread their wings” early and caused havoc in the home. I have heard one pastor’s wife’s testimony in regards to her “prodigal son” where she would take long drives home and pray, cry, and plead with God for his salvation. It can pierce the heart of parents when they see their own children acting in such worldly fashions, sometimes distance is better than watching their own child’s destructive behavior.
Woman, never give up on prayer for your child.
If you are a “worldly” woman who has come back to the church and witnessing your training on the children in your home, attempting godliness in an ungodly setting, continue in your perseverance. Do not give up on the Lord, your newfound faith, or the children who were raised in the “world”. Watching your new attitude, newfound faith may at first seem weird and ridiculous to them, but as your own testimony emerges, as the Lord brings changes to your life, these children will change as well.
For the Christian parent who is reading this for the “worldly daughter or son”, please continue in prayer for your own prodigal. I refuse to give up on the ones I know who have walked away from the Christian faith. Remember the prodigal son? He had to go so far into the pig pen, eat the slop, and wallow in filth before he realized what his selfish actions had done. (Luke 15:11-32) Your child may also have to wallow in their depravity, hit rock bottom before they too realize, “What have I done?” Let us go to the Lord for these children, the next generation, and our hearts as mothers.
Let us pray out loud and CONFESS the Word of the Living God; a prayer for our children
Adonai, My Lord,
Bend Your ear down low and listen to Your daughter’s heartfelt cries, prayers, and my thankful heart. I pray the desire of my heart is focused on Christ’s will and not my own. Lord, bring me into complete submission before You and the perfect plan You have for my life. I pray I am strong by bringing all my requests and laying them at the foot of the cross. As a mother, open my heart to bring each child to Jesus for Your service, and purpose. May I sing a hymn of praise the Lord, a song full of joy, and thanksgiving for His mercy and graciousness bestowed upon me. May Christ open the eyes and heart of Your daughter to the Word, the purpose for my life, and give me a deeper revelation Him.
Father, open the eyes of my heart (Ephesians 1:18) give me a hymn of praise to sing to Christ (Ephesians 5:19), encouraging others along the way (Ephesians 4:29). May I boast only in the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14) and His precious blood spilled as my High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). I pray the children You have given me or will give me are used in a mighty way for Your kingdom, planting a harvest for You in the next generation (Colossians 1:6). May each grow to be in Christ’s service, a powerful voice and may I be a mother who can let go, giving them to You for Your perfect will and timing (1 Samuel 1:28). May I train them in the way they should go and when they are older they will never depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). I pray Your laws, wisdom, guidance are tied around their neck like garland and each are quick to respond to Your will (Proverbs 1:8-9).
Guard my mouth lest I sin against You (Psalms 39:1, 19:14, James 3:9, Job 2: 10) and believe in Your promises, Your Word and Truth will never return void (Isaiah 55:11). Scripture says instead of the thorn bush, the pine tree will grow; instead of briers the myrtle will grow (Isaiah 55:13) Open my heart for a deeper relationship of faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13, Hebrews 11:1-3). May I never be resentful, demand my own timing, provoking to another, jealous or covet what another sister of mine has (Galatians 5:26). I believe in the power of the resurrection, healing, and hope of Jesus Christ. I pray for godly women friends, counselors, and sisters in Christ who are in the same situation as I am for comfort, to pray, and give thanks. May we always lift Your name on high and hope in the things we can not see (Hebrews 11-3). In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, amen