It is not just said, It is written “Train up a child in the way that he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” Prov 22:6. Back in the day, we grew up as ‘community children’ meaning the whole village had responsibility over you. The neighbours had the authourity to literally use the rod of correction on you, rebuke you, pull your ears if need arose ….. and we revered them for it. From the moment you were born, you were a child of the village and for the village to raise. Times have since changed a lot!
Today, we have wall fences, hardly know our neighbours by name let alone talk to them; so how can we be talking to their children? That said, it is something we may not be able change on the outside, how about we change whats on the inside of these wall fences we have built upon ourselves? Visits, church Sunday schools, parties, schools and many other social gatherings display for the onlookers to see who has been trained up, or trained down. Somehow as parents we are looking for a place to leave a mark on this earth but the question is what kind of mark we leave, will be seen and lived through our children.
Unfortunately, parenting cannot be delegated simply because we do not want anyone to tell off our wanabe kids when they misbehave, do not say thank you, are neither apologetic nor courteous to others, we do not rebuke them for what we call simple things like screaming at us, speaking rudely at us or the people who help us with the chores at home, do not greet……. in all claiming and thinking they will outgrow these habits. That my friend is training a child down and when s/he is old, he will certainly not depart from it. At every turn, is a learning curve for the child and an opportunity for the parent or guardian to impart values that will stick, teach and address the moral aspect of life to the child so that when s/he is old, they will never depart from them.
As parents or guardians, tolerate bad behaviour all in the name of cutting your children slack, hating everyone who tells you about them, or thinking they will out grow the habit, is to train down your child. As stewards of these children, it is our God given mandate to TRAIN them UP, to be upward looking. Upward looking is to acknowledge that even you as the parent are looking up to the perfect model God. Since we are no longer letting the village raise our children, then we need to train them up and not down however trendy it looks.
Whether you are training up or training down, it is that training that will form the foundation on which the child will gravitate when they are older.
Training up and not Training down