MTL Christmas - Page 73

TRAIN UP A CHILD by Korie Robertson with Chrys Howard mtl Note: Our cover girl, Korie Robertson’s latest book, Strong and Kind, helps you identify the character traits you want to see in your children and gives you the tools for putting them in place. Here’s a sneak peek at the straightforward, practical advice you’ll find inside. When our children were toddlers, we began shaping their behavior. Notice that I said shaping, not controlling. One of the most popular Bible verses for parents is actually a proverb. Proverbs are truisms, not promises, but they contain great wisdom that we can apply to our lives. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (kjv). I really like the King James Version of this verse because of the word train. Train implies that this will take some time and plenty of effort. No one trains for a marathon only by running from the house to the mailbox. Training for a marathon takes consistent discipline, day after day, over many miles of running. Training someone means teaching that person a particular skill or type of behavior. God is not being flippant about what He is asking us to do as parents. He doesn’t say, “Let your child have some fun experiences in life, and hopefully he or she will also learn to be a good person.” No, God uses a strong verb—train. He has charged you to lead your children to adulthood. Leading means showing them with words and actions. So how did Willie and I train our children to behave in church? First, I packed a bag of toys, coloring books, and snacks. Little ones are too young to understand the sermon, so it’s important to have something to keep their little minds entertained. When this didn’t work and our children started misbehaving, throwing their toys on the floor and getting whiny or talking too loudly, Willie would take them to a quiet room and simply hold them. He wouldn’t talk to them, play with them, or let them get down, no matter how much they squirmed. This sent them the message that if they misbehaved, they would be removed from the situation and taken to a safe environment where Dad had them, but they wouldn’t be allowed to get what they wanted. Most of the time this produced big tears and lots of squirming, but Willie continued to hold them gently yet firmly until they calmed down and got the idea that they had better behave in church because what happened when they were taken out was not nearly as much fun. For more from Korie Robertson with Chrys Howard, check out Strong and Kind on