Train Up a Child
- July 1, 2022
- Posted by: Carolyn Mahal
- Category: Uncategorized
The hand-carved slice of wood from a pine tree shares a bold message to all who enter the room. One is drawn to its simplicity. The Scriptural promise is powerful and effective:
“Train a child in the way they should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (NIV)
These words of truth from Proverbs 22:6 in Scripture speak incredible truth to all who read it and meditate upon the intended meaning that the writer gave us, as the Holy Spirit inspired him. Within our Christian schools, God gives us ample opportunities to partner with parents in this most awesome responsibility. We have “Great Commission” moments every day – ones that provide faith formation times of teaching – for every single child in our care. As one looks more carefully at this Bible verse, there are instructional gems to be grasped that point us towards the “how” of ensuring God is present in every part of the day in our schools.
“Training” a child begins early in her life. Parents can be confident, partially confident, or not confident at all – as they begin to raise their little gift from God. At times this may depend on their own upbringing and how their parents raised them. It could also be cultural or situational, depending on many varied factors or dynamics. If a family has a strong presence in their church, there will be a continual receiving of God’s good gifts to the family and to the child. Within a Christian school setting, there is daily immersion in the Word and staff members take every opportunity to add important elements to provide strengthening of faith: chapel worship, songs, prayer, integrating faith into classes and activities, connecting with parents in a faith-filled way, meaningful communications, application, and even the defending of the faith. Also, forgiveness, servant hearts, and humility are part of the child’s day. The fruits of the spirit become increasingly evident as a child is trained and nurtured:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Paul clearly shares these incredible attributes that one can strive to emulate. Training within the culture of our schools can only support such endeavors – looking at each child as one that God created beautifully and with purpose.
“A child” is defined as a girl or boy that is young, impressionable, not thinking in the abstract as much as concrete – ready to soak up her surroundings, and to learn.
“In the way they should go” comes to us again, from the II Timothy 3:15:
“…and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” (NIV)
Here the writer says from little on, as one hears and then reads Scripture – wisdom is imbued, through child-like faith in Jesus Christ. Note that life in heaven with Jesus is the promised given for all who believe.
“When he is old” can be a baptismal promise that as a child of God – one with new life in Christ through the water and Word, receives grace from this sacrament, and the opportunity to continue to grow, urged on by the Holy Spirit.
“He will not turn from it” is the hope that one receives from God-breathed Scripture, from faith-filled parents, and from teachers and staff members at our Christian schools who all continually work together to instill a life a faithfulness into each student.
Within Lutheran Special Education Ministries – with the assistance of school staff members – one can realize how God is at work in numerous ways: the building of relationships, dedicated time in prayer, working through educational struggles with love and proper resources, and ultimately – striving to build up disciples who are confident, comfortable, and consistent in their walk with the Lord in their young lives. The future is bright! Thankfully, such Great Commission moments are ones that God’s children become equipped to lead. And wonderful reminders like the wood carving in that room give impetus to reach every single child with successful outcomes and most importantly, with an everlasting love for their Savior, Jesus Christ.
Devotion by Thomas Wrege, Principal at Zion Lutheran School in Georgetown, Texas. He loves the mission and ministry of LSEM and strives to reach every child with the love of Jesus and the promise of relational and servant hearts.