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Train Up a Child

March 3, 2017

There is no higher and no more difficult calling, than the one to effectively raise children. When you decide to grow a family, you place your own plans and desires on hold (often indefinitely), in order to center your lives around your family. From the moment the child exits the womb and enters the home, everything changes. Decisions need to be made regarding everything from work schedules, to education, to where you will live, to family vacations.

In “The Collapse of Parenting,” physician, psychologist, and internationally acclaimed author, Leonard Sax, examines how parenting has significantly changed over the last fifty years. Leonard Sax posits that “parental authority” has collapsed. When Sax speaks of “parental authority,” he is not referring to discipline, but rather to the role of parents as the primary source of “enculturing” in their child’s lives. Enculturing is the process of passing on values to children and regrettably, increasingly, that process is moving from parents to our children’s peers, the media and educational institutions.

I have had parents tell me with an air of enlightenment that they were not going to push their religion on their children, but rather, they would let their children decide for themselves what they believed. That sentiment represents the collapse of enculturing Sax is referencing, and it is not enlightened, nor does it represent progressive parenting, rather it is in fact, an abdication of responsibility. God placed your children in your lives specifically, so that you could enculture them with the values and principles of the Word of God. Proverbs 22:6 very directly commands parents to, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” It is your fundamental responsibility to “train up” your child. If you abdicate your role, your child will instead be left at the mercy of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, the Disney Channel and Much Music. Their enculturing will come from music, the internet and their peers, and not from you.

For the month of March, Shari and I will be sharing our journey in enculturing our children in the ways of God. We will candidly share our triumphs and our failures, not because we enjoy opening ourselves to criticism, but rather so that others may share in our success, and learn from our mistakes.

It is our sincere desire that we empower you – moms and dads – to be the very best you can be, and provide an environment of learning, so that together, we can raise a generation of world changers, who have been thoroughly encultured in “things that are true, things are honest, things are just, things are pure, things are lovely, things are of good report” (Philippians 4:8), so that through our children, the world is changed!