6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
This time we have come to the subject of children. According to the above verse we are to direct our children onto the right path because we do, they will stay on the same path when they got older. This verse is important for parents like myself. I am a son who will soon turn 4 years old. There is nothing I wish more than for him to prosper and be in health as his soul prospers. Therefore, it is my desire to direct him to the path, which will lead him to total life prosperity. I believe all the sane parents have the same desire for their children.
The question here is how are we going to do it? How are we supposed to direct our children to the right path? Then we will have to ask what is the right path? Let us begin with the first question.
The answer to the first question is very simple. Lead by example. What type of attitude, behavior, habit or mindset you want your children to have? You show them by practising them in your life for them to see. Whatever you don’t want your children to do, don’t do it yourself. If you don’t want your children to speak vulgar words, make sure you don’t speak them. If you don’t want your children to give up every time they face some difficulties in life, make sure you yourself don’t give up easily too.
On the other hand, whatever you want your children to do, you do it yourself. Do you want your children to love reading and studying? Make sure you are doing the same thing. Don’t give excuses like you are an adult and adults don’t have to study anymore or you are too busy to study. None of us is too old to learn new things. We must not stop learning for the sake of ourselves and for our children.
If you want your children to pray, make sure you pray yourself. Don’t ever threaten them to pray like telling them that God will be angry and do bad things to people who do not pray. If you make God look like a monster, do not be surprise that you children will end up staying away from God when they grow up. After all, who likes to spend time with a monster?
We must not make the path to look, sound or feel like a torture. Make it fun. My son aspires to change light bulbs because he saw me doing it. By the way, I have never changed light bulbs before I got married. Now that I am married and have my own house I realize that somebody has to change the light bulbs. As the man in the house I have to do it. So, I change light bulbs when they are burnt. It is just a routine for me.
However, from my son’s perspective the process of light bulb changing is very fascinating. He was so impressed that he told me he wants to change light bulbs when he grows up. When we were outside and came across a defective lamp, my son said he is going to fix that. Somehow I don’t think I will have trouble in asking him to change light bulbs in the future.
I am telling you all these to show you that you don’t have to force things on your children even if these are good things. It is easier and more effective to allow them to do those good things because they love to and not because they have to. Tap on their fascination and their sense of fun. You can achieve greater things thins way.
Next, what is the path? The answer is whatever you want. What type of future do you want your children to have? That is the path you should direct them to. God has given us our minds and common sense to be used. It is not necessary to search the Bible on whether it is right for us to want to be healthy, live long lives, have successful career, make a lot of money and have a lot of fun. God did not give us the Bible to tell us all these. He gave us the Bible to help us to live good lives. The Bible is our servant and not our master. Decide what type of life that you want for yourself and your family. Use the Bible to achieve it.
Teach your children to the same. Do it with clear instruction and be an example yourself. Then you will have established a blessed generation after you.