Be your child’s own mentor

imagesProverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it”

Parents are mandated to teach their children how to think right, talk right and live right. The saying “Do what I say and not what I do” is not operative in this setting. We need to show our children the right way to live. We need to encourage them to “Do what we say and what we do.

The challenge here is knowing what the real way is. If we don’t know the way how can we show them the way? It’s impossible to train our children to live right if we don’t know how to live right. We can’t teach them to know Gods’ word if we don’t know God’s word ourselves, neither can we teach them to pray if we don’t know how to pray ourselves. The onus now lies on us parents to study and know for ourselves the way that our children should go so that we can show them, for our children can only go where their parents take them.

Someone may ask, what is this way? It is the way of righteousness and godliness. This way is a lifelong process for us and our children; however, we still need to model it for them. This type of life enables our children to grow into fruitful, productive and fulfilled adults who reflect in their lives the image of Jesus Christ. It is a great legacy for parents to pass on to their children and train them up in the things of God. This enables them to discover that the true meaning and purpose in life are found in living consciously and purposefully as kingdom citizens.

John’s family had eight siblings who all know the Lord. Their parents did not have much money. They could only provide food for the family. All other things were luxury. However, they all grew up in an atmosphere of love. They were all taught to love God and live right. In such an environment, material things were inconsequential. They were rich in what matters most-love of God, love of family and the knowledge and confidence to live an abundance life.

John’s parents understood that parenting must be on purpose and begins at birth. Waiting till the teenage years might be too late. Research has shown that the first five years of a child’s life (the formative years) are very important. Those are the years when children are molded into what they eventually become. Some may stray for a time but they will eventually return to the values, beliefs and trained they received as children.

Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude.

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