“Train a child in the way that he should go, and he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Often, we think this means that if we raised a child to know Jesus, he will return to his roots if he goes wayward. But notice, the proverb specifically says the child will not depart from his training. It is much easier to place the burden upon the child for his waywardness, but what if what is truly at issue is the training. If a child is trained right, he shall go right, but if he is trained wrong, he shall go wrong.
This is not to say that there is not redemption for a child poorly trained or for the mother or father failing to train well. God certainly forgives and redeems us from our errant ways. But do we want to miss all the time it takes for us to get back on the right road by not being on that road from the beginning? Continue reading Train up a Child . . .
It is easy to miss our own failures when our eyes are on the failures of others. When we have been wronged, we dwell on every aspect of the injustice. We turn it over in our minds enough to know every nuance of the wrong done to us. We consider how easily we see how they should have behaved. The matter is settled in our minds. We are the intentional victims of the actions of another.
Now we nurse our wounds. Maybe we do so in seclusion, gallantly protecting the wrong doer. Or maybe we enlist the sympathy of our friends to our plight. Misery loves company.
Time passes. Maybe a little, maybe a lot depending on how long our heart takes to soften. Then we forgive the person. We begin to realize they are trapped in their own wounds. Maybe they did not do it intentionally. Maybe they did not realize the extent of their behavior.
This process goes on, but the whole time it is other focused. We are still the victim. We may even give a cursory acknowledgment of our faults in the past, but today we are the victim. Today they are the perpetrator. We are the one suffering the injury, the insult, the injustice. Continue reading A More Excellent Way
It is a myth of epic proportions that relationships work between the right people and fail between the wrong people. Today parents believe they got a bad egg, when their child does not behave. Men and women believe they married the wrong person, when their marriage is in shambles. We have the same thinking when it comes to our pets, we think we got a bad dog when it barks all the time, or chews the furniture.
In reality, no one drew the short straw. Everyone is in the same boat of needing to learn how to have healthy relationships. No one is going to birth a child that knows how to behave. No one is going to have a healthy marriage without learning how. No barking dog is going to bark less unless it is trained to do so.
If you burn everything you cook on your stove, you don’t buy a new stove to fix the problem, you learn how to cook. No one can cook without learning how. Some will learn from trial and error, some from cook books, some from parents or a friend, and some from You Tube. But no one just knows how to cook.
We did not do something wrong by not having been taught. But once we realize we want to cook and enjoy what we make, it is time to make the effort to learn. The myth that relationships work with the right people will keep us from realizing our problem is not a need for the right people, but the right training.
When we are properly armed with the right tools for healthy relationships, Continue reading The Importance of Learning How to Love