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by Mackenzie Shaver on October 16, 2015
As a father to an eleven month old my life has changed a lot in the past year. Gone are the days of sleeping in, attending late night movies, and using outlets without childproof covers. My wife and I have been given the opportunity to as Proverbs says ‘train up a child,’ and we are excited about this adventure. Even though there are sacrifices, we love being parents.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
How do we accomplish what Proverbs describes? What is the ‘way he should go?’ The hospital didn’t give us a 37-step manual on how to raise kids who love the Lord, who become straight A students, and who are loved by everyone they meet.
How do we not mess this thing up? Thinking of our son going off to college and being on his own makes teaching him everything in 18 years seem a little overwhelming. My good friend Dr. Larry Taylor writes in his Kingdom Parenting Curriculum, “We have 6,570 days from Birth to Diploma. This point reminds me of two things: First, we need to remember that this is a short amount of time, and we need to be diligent in raising our son. Second, we need to focus on one day at a time. Raising a child is a marathon, but as we look back it feels like a sprint.
Today is day 345 of our son’s life. Our goal for him is that he would grow up like Jesus as Luke describes:
“Jesus increased in Wisdom and Stature, and in Favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
That verse gives us a template of how we want him to grow until that day when he walks across the stage to get his diploma. Our desire is that he will grow in knowledge and wisdom, that he would grow physically over the years (even though his small clothes are so cute right now), that he would trust in Jesus as his Savior and walk in a relationship with Him, and that he would be known as a man of integrity and high character in his interactions with others.
What are the ways we can help our son grow in those four areas, one day at a time? Today looks different than it will tomorrow. Today we play with him and teach him new things and new words. We make sure that he is eating well, and that he gets time to crawl around and practice standing up. We pray together and read Bible stories together even though he cannot fully understand them. We teach him to be happy, enjoy life, laugh often, and wave at strangers and say hello. We teach him right and wrong and to listen to Mommy and Daddy. One day at a time added onto another and then another. Eventually we will get to day 6,570, but today we focus on the peek-a-boo, the laughter, and the trying of new foods parts of our journey. One day is not overwhelming. We can do one day. You can too. Whether you are on day 300, 3000, or 6,550, I’d like to ask what you are doing today to equip and train up your children in the way God says they should go?
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