"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
You will notice that the Scripture doesn't say to "Teach up a child in the way he should go" but "train up a child." There is a huge difference! While teaching is important, it is limited and is not the Biblical command. Training in the New Testament is the Greek Word, gumnazo, where we get our word "gymnasium." It shows the picture of one who works out gradually putting on more weight until his muscles are trained to lift that which was once impossible to lift.
This is how God trains us, his children; and it is how we are to train our own children. The writer of Hebrews shows us the importance of training in this way, when he said, "For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained [gumnazoed] to discern good and evil." ~ Hebrews 5:13-14
This is exactly how we as parents should be training ourselves and our children. We are to be gradually giving them more and more of the divine truth [spiritual food] so that they can "discern good and evil." We live in a day of deception. We can't shelter our children from temptation, IT IS COMING! However, we can train them in such a way that as they are growing older, they can discern what is right and wrong when it does come. In order to do so, we must use the Scriptures. They are profitable for doctrine, for reproof [conviction], for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God might be perfect [mature], thoroughly furnished for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
It is interesting to note that those verses came at the end of a passage on the end times. In these last days in which we live, our time is of the essence when it comes to our children. The majority of society is training children to be disobedient, unthankful and unholy; so we must do as Scripture commands and "Be not overcome with evil, but OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD!" It starts at home. If society is to be changed, we must change the culture at home. We must begin today not just teaching our children but training them. I'd like to end with a brief excerpt on this subject from H. Clay Trumbell's [the founder of Sunday School] book, Hints on Child Training.
It has been said that the essence of teaching is cousing another to know. It may similarly be said that the essence of training is causing another to do. Teaching gives knowledge; training gives skill. Teaching fills the mind; training shapes the habits. Teaching brings to the child that which he did not have before; training enables a child to make use of that which is already in his possession. We teach a child the meaning of words. We train a child in speaking and walking. We teach him the truths whihc we have learned for ourselves. We train him in habits of study, that he may be able to learn other truths for himself. Training and teaching must go on together in the wise upbringing of any and every child."
Let us train our children to become Champions for Christ in these last days!