Monday, March 30, 2009

To Train Up A Child

A Biblical Philosophy of Child Education

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

If you need to know your basic duty and basic objective as a parent and home educator,
here it is in Proverbs 22:6. The basic duty is to train up the child and the basic objective
is to have him walking in the way he should go that he will not depart from it.

Matthew Henry provides us with these helpful comments on the proverb:
Here is, 1. A great duty enjoined, particularly to those that are the parents and
instructors of children, in order to the propagating of wisdom, that it may not die
with them: Train up children in that age of vanity, to keep them from the sins and
snares of it, in that learning age, to prepare them for what they are designed for.
Catechize them; initiate them; keep them under discipline. Train them as soldiers,
who are taught to handle their arms, keep rank, and observe the word of
command. Train them up, not in the way they would go (the bias of their corrupt
hearts would draw them aside), but in the way they should go, the way in which, if
you love them, you would have them go. Train up a child according as he is
capable (as some take it), with a gentle hand, as nurses feed children, little and
often, Deut. 6:7. 2. A good reason for it, taken from the great advantage of this
care and pains with children: When they grow up, when they grow old, it is to be
hoped, they will not depart from it. Good impressions made upon them then will
abide upon them all their days. Ordinarily the vessel retains the savor with which
it was first seasoned. Many indeed have departed from the good way in which
they were trained up; Solomon himself did so. But early training may be a means
of their recovering themselves, as it is supposed Solomon did. At least the parents
will have the comfort of having done their duty and used the means.

The patterns of behavior a child develops even in infancy will have great bearing on how
he behaves in his youth and into his old age. A poorly disciplined and trained infant and
toddler will typically make for a poor school student and a lost youth. So it is important
that the little child early on adopt a Christian demeanor and a Christian understanding of
himself and the world. He must be trained not to whine, he must be trained to sleep during the night, he must be trained to obey his parents and to respect his siblings, etc.
He must be told that God made Him, and that in gratitude he is duty bound to obey God.
He must be taught to trust in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior from his terrible sins and
his personal Lord as ruler of his life. He must be taught to pray. He must be trained to
know that true joy comes by way of a life glorifying to God, and long term misery comes
in the path of disobedience. While we must remember he is a child when he is a child,
we must also remember that we are training him to be a mature Christian adult, not an
immature modern adolescent.
Training and discipline finally consists in inculcating a wise and productive use of time.
“Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise: redeeming the time
because the days are evil.”(Ephesians 5:15-16) The value of time should be emphasized,
as well as our duty to be wise stewards of it. The time we are given on this earth should
be used to the fullest to glorify God and to build up His kingdom.
This does not mean there should be no time for rest. God gave man Sabbath days
because he knew men needed such occasions of rest. But our rest should be used to
promote spiritual reinvigoration, not spiritual declension. We should provide rest for our
children and the whole family consistent with its scriptural pattern. Amusement parks
and comic dramas are hardly according to the scriptural pattern of rest we find taught in
Dr. Richard Bacon, in his sermons and lectures on the Ten Commandments, provides
these observations in his treatment on entertainment:
“Entertainment wastes time and goods when unnecessary, and wastes our minds
when not used productively. Time is taken first in thinking, planning, and talking
about it. Then more time as well as wealth is taken up in actually doing it.
"Minutes make the years"…The most distressing of these entertainments is the
pornographic, but we ought not to be at extremities before checking our desires.
We live in a day in which entertainment is regarded almost as a civil "right."
Stimulating entertainment generally leads to desire for more stimulus, not less.
Most entertainment leaves unsung the praises of Christian sobriety, temperance,
watchfulness, humility, penitence, self-denial, heavenly-mindedness, or any other
Christian virtue. Thus those entertainments that inculcate or at least encourage
such Christian virtues have a place, though at the periphery of our lives.
Scriptures: "I will set no wicked thing before my eyes" Ps 101:3; "The thoughts of
foolishness are sin" Prov 24:9; "They became vain in their imaginations" Rom
1:21;"Lead us not into temptation" Matt 6:13; "Filthiness, foolish talking,
jesting" combined Eph 5:4.”
Given the nature of Biblical training and discipline, it should be obvious how flawed the
modern concepts of ‘childhood’ and ‘adolescence’ are. Adolescence as it is conceived in
modern times is wrong and must be rejected as thoroughly un-Biblical. Our objective
should be that the child would be a mature, thoroughly catechized young Christian adult
by the age of 13.

Much of this is taken from The Puritans Home School Curriculum. While I certainly won't agree to everything contained in their file or site, I do like to pick out the meat and such in just about everything I find for homeschooling from a strictly Christian point of view. I am not raising children to be like everyone else, I am praying to raise them to be the next generation of true Biblical adults that the Bible calls us to be. In, not know. So, when visiting this site, or pretty much any other site claiming Christianity as its base, enter with prayers for guidance and avoidance...guidance to find those good parts, avoidance of the weeds and bones that lead you off the Correct Path.

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Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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