SGBC Modesto

The Way He Would Go

April 5, 2024 by

William Heinrich

One of the most damaging consequences of humanistic psychology in our culture today is its inroad made in training children. First, they say the human is no different than an animal. Yet, man is a rational, moral creature, endowed with the image of God. Animals possess none of these.

Secondly, they tell us that to spank our child will harm, not help them. Twice this week I spoke with people I had never met before. Both of them were older and liked to talk, so I listened. Both were very concerned about America. Both believed the primary reason America is in trouble is coming from the poor training of our children. Both spoke unsolicited about their firm belief in training with the rod or willow stick. To me, these men are wise because they agree with Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs. One of the major themes of Proverbs is training your child. The rod is the only form of discipline mentioned, so it is not the last resort and certainly not to be excluded. Many today are against spankings, because child abuse is increasing. Spanking properly is not abuse, but training. Others spare the rod because they love their child, seemingly unaware that the rod applied correctly, when needed, is love (Hebrews 12:6-7 & Proverbs 13:24).

Proverbs 22:6 reminds us to train them in the way they “should” go. One is training on the pathway to Heaven and the other is the slippery slide to ruin.

Inherent in training is the shaping of character. Such training can begin too late, but never too early. Such training is not the job of the school and its “value clarification” programs. God instructs the parents, and only the parents, to shape the child’s character. The school should support the parents’ instruction, but this is too often not true. Just as both Mother and Father must work together in training their child, so must the school, the grandparents, and all who share in this responsibility be as one. A divided message produces an irritated, confused and rebellious child. Training must be positive to balance the negative. Some encourage their children to develop character by naming them godly names. Everyone likes to hear their name spoken. A meaningful name will inspire the child to be like the meaning of their name or Bible character who had it before them. Others help develop character by videos that teach, in a cute way, the characteristics that please the Lord. Today in our culture the necessity of parents shaping character is greater than ever before. Children rarely say “Please”, “Excuse me”, “Forgive me”, and “I’m sorry”. Things like being on time, respecting older people or those in places of authority are quickly leaving the land. Honesty, dependability, loyalty, self-control, sensitivity, attentiveness, neatness, gratefulness, obedience, truthfulness, patience, thriftiness, responsibility, availability, contentment, flexibility, hospitality and humility all are making a speedy exit from America. Because the child is encouraged to be left to the way he “would” go, which is a slippery slide into ruin. Parents must be responsible and train their children in the way they “should” go.