There is probably something I have grown up to know and do that weren’t the values my parents inculcated in me. So, what is the relevance of parents training their children when these children would still be influenced by various other factors to a very great degree? Various things would influence your children like environment, hormones, school, friends, parents, friends of siblings (through siblings) and lots more.
So, No matter how you try, your kids will struggle with magnetism from the third-party. They will have friends in school, they will meet new people in Church, they will suddenly leave for the University and you can’t hide them from the outside world. This reality is scary at times, knowing that your kids may become attached to people raised in a very different way from your philosophy. There are various mistakes we made that weren’t as a result of how our parents trained us but because of other things we got exposed to. What does this mean for you and your kids?
When you train your children, you are sowing seeds into their hearts but the flourishing of these seeds is conditioned on your level of friendship with them. Friendship is what draws back your children to you, it makes them empty the things they have gathered out there while you help them sieve it, throw away the chaff and retain the grain. It is only with a friendship that you can get your kids to give you a listening ear and act on your words wholeheartedly. Best friends are loyalists to one another and your kids will be loyal to you even when they have grown independent of you because they are always endeared to you.
No matter how moral you are, you shouldn’t impose morality strictly on your children with over-protective biases. When you understand the risk involved, you wouldn’t want to take it. It is better to allow your children to get exposed when you can guide them than over-protect them till they grow beyond your security and still get exposed with less supervision. This is usually the problem of some “moralists”. As much as you may not want your baby girl to run after boys, she should relate with boys on your guidance than explore things her own juvenile ways.
Your children will ultimately grow to start making their preferences, they will learn things you never knew and some of the information they got from you would become outdated and irrelevant but your impact will continue speaking loud in their hearts. There is always that point where they would struggle between following the path you’ve set them on and the path that looks more appealing but, above their reasoning, your voice is loud and lovingly authoritative.
They are a people with their minds, they might not think what you are thinking at all times but because you have built some kind of consciousness in them, it will always serve as a filter to their thoughts. What they have grown to learn from you in eighteen to ten years would take a whole lot of years to unlearn. It is easier to learn things than to unlearn them because the things we learn gets absorbed into our souls and starts producing certain characters in us! Just like the worm, it grows and become a part of our system.
One thing is to give out training; another is the manner with which these training are given. The only kind of training that would produce very lasting impacts in the lives of your kids is that which is done on the principles of friendship. Till date, I still pray before eating, not because I want to but because it has become a part of me and it would take years of learning how not to pray at the dinning before I would start eating without praying. Even when I don’t want to pray, the moment my hand touches the spoon, the prayer rolls out on its accord right inside my heart.
As much as we know that we aren’t the sole influence that will determine a hundred per cent of what our children become, we know that whatever we put in them is likely to give them a direction. They may not become exactly who we want them to become, but they will not be lost, they will have a touch of our own Spirit in whatever they choose to be. When we train them on the model of friendship, then we have an edge over every other influence that awaits them.
Does it make sense now when we read Proverbs 22:6 which says
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
Can you read again? Wait a minute… There is something there that I want you to see. Can you guess? It is the word “direct” which is translated “train” in the King James translation of the Bible. To train is to direct, not to force or impose something on someone. When you direct your children on the right path, they will not leave it even when they become older. You can agree with me that this is better done on the platform of friendship.
You are strong for this.