Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.
I am sure you know this verse of scripture. You’ve probably heard it many times. When I think back at growing up and making career or life’s work choices, I remember the many things that transpired at home between my parents and I. If you were like me, your parents would have wanted you to become a Lawyer, Doctor or an Engineer. Fantastic professions. I could have been a civil engineer because I love buildings with great aesthetics and I loved road networks. I could have also been a Lawyer- never too late ;-). One profession my parents were not confused about me taking up was that of a Doctor. They just thought there was no fit. Ironically, I remember very many years ago during my mandatory national youth service in Nigeria. I was mistakenly tagged Doctor because I loved working in the clinic. I could read a doctor’s prescription and dispense medication accordingly, I measured patients blood pressure levels and assisted my doctor friends in the clinic however I could. But my choice was taking me down the path of languages, writing and business. Let me break down the scripture above.The most important words in this verse are- Train, Way and He.
Train: Your methods, your strategies, your plan, your prayers. The question here is do you have a plan? What are your methods? How do you pray? What are you working at? Or who is training your child?
The way: The particular path God has charted for your child, the word of God. There are also things that are deposited in our lives from childhood that point to our paths. One of them is widely known as our passion. Many times, parents have trained their children in the ways they should have gone or the way they think their children should go, some even train them in the way other people want them to go. The danger in this is missing out what God has designed for that child.
This easter period, I thought about Mary and how she was told what her child’s path was before he was even born. Scary! I thought the things that went through her mind while she waited nine months for this destined child to be born. The whole thing might have seemed too much for her. There she was young, inexperienced and your ‘girl next door’ and she was told she’ll have a baby who would not be conceived by having relations with a man, whose name was already decided( she was just informed) and that he would save his people from their sins. Big job for a little guy who was not even born!
Mary must have wondered what life was going to be for Jesus. When the wise men came to visit after Jesus was born, one of the gifts they gave to him was given was Myrrh. An ancient fragrance used for many purposes including embalming the body of someone who had died and was being buried. That was a message in advance that this child was going to die. Some heads-up for Mary! The bible would usually say this about Mary- “And Mary kept all these things in her heart”.
Mary had already been given the blueprint for her son’s life. So has every one of us. Your child and my child may not have the ultimate blueprint that Mary was handed for her child, but every single one of us as children of God came with a blueprint that lines up with Jesus’s blueprint. God never does anything in isolation. No child is born on the face of the earth without a blueprint. Every child is a precious gift from the lord. (Psalm 127:3) When you give a gift to someone, you give it with a certain purpose in your mind. The same goes for when you receive a gift. Our children have not come with blank pages on which we can generally write what we think is best for them or re-write our own lives, errors or dreams.
If as adult children of God, we seek his face in prayer to find out what his purpose is for our lives and we wait for his word to confirm and guide our paths, why do we not carry through with the same process with our children? God has placed us as caretakers over the lives of our children and we must do well to give him a good report of how we train them in the way they should go. He has the blueprint for each one of your precious little ones and it will always be better, richer and more successful than what we could ever write on a blank page.
He or She: Your son, daughter,ward, God son or daughter, whichever one you are responsible for.
We need to re-appraise how we work with our children in these three areas.
Are we willing to seek out the blueprint for the lives of our children?
I wrote a book titled ‘Discover to Grow‘. It is a short, quick and easy to read book with practical ways to help keen Parents discover their children’s gifts and talents. It is available on
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To Successful Parenting