Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Guest Blogger...Cara Putman

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Wow! That’s quite a charge. As the mother of a six-year-old and three-year-old, that charge weighs heavy on me. How do I lay the foundation so that my children will follow God wholeheartedly as adults? How do I train a child in the way he/she should go? Is there a pattern or formula that I can use to ensure my children are spared straying from the path of righteousness?

Unfortunately, I know the answer to that last question. There isn’t anything I can do that will guarantee results. Parenting isn’t a formula. Plug in these inputs, and the outcome is assured. But surely there are steps I can take that will at least head them in the right direction.

I’ve asked my parents what they did to raise four Gen Xers who all follow God and have married godly spouses. Their reply was a very helpful, “we’re not sure.” As an attorney, I want a little more than that. So I’ve looked back. Here are a few things they did that I think made a difference.

First, we were always at church on Sundays. It was a high priority. It might not have always been the largest church, but it was a church where the Word was taught and God was present.

Second, they homeschooled me and my siblings. Hebrews 11:7 was the theme verse God gave them: “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” A key foundation of most of our school days was studying books of the Bible. I am amazed at the fruit that was planted in my life during those times dissecting what the Bible said, the culture, history, and geography of that book.

Finally, they reached a point where they let go and trusted that they had done everything they could to raise us in the faith. I’m sure they prayed mightily over us – and probably still do. Even so, that had to be the hardest part. I see myself as a sixty year old grandma still dispensing advice – largely unwanted – to any of my children who will listen. Instead, Mom and Dad are there to offer perspective and pray for us, but the decision remains ours.

Next time I’ll look at a few resources I’ve found that our family loves. But what did your parents do (or do you wish they had done) that laid the foundation for you. Let’s learn together!

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