Sunday, 15 November 2020
Title: Training a Child in the Way He Should Go
By Elder Tan Seng Kee
Ps Soong in his recent devotion mentioned about Absalom, the 3rd son of King David, who tried to seize his throne. Absalom was later killed and he seems like a greedy young man who can’t wait his turn for power. All of us in our own lives have come across young people either because they were dependent on us or they were thrust into our care to teach and tutelage. My wife and I have 4 daughters and the youngest just turned 21 years old and we had a muted but joyful family celebration on her birthday.
Was it difficult for David to get the most acclaimed mentor for Absalom and ensure he walked in the ways of God which would include loving King David who was his father and king? Yet in spite of all the power, wisdom and resources at his hands, King David did not do so well in raising his son, Absalom. In my many years of being a father and which I still am both in provision and in guidance, I am baffled by situations which turned out well with my girls with little involvement from me and some traumatic problems which happened in spite of my sincere intervention.
Does it matter whether adults play a role in the growing years of our young people? Time and again I am brought back to acknowledge that it matters that we adults having ‘stewardship’ of young people have a vital role in seeing how our young people grow up. Psalm 139:13-14 reminds us that “God created my inmost being….knit me together in my mother’s womb….I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
When a young person comes into my midst, I (whether as parent, guardian, aunty, teacher or in any capacity of influence I may have), then, have a duty to care for the young person. I must tend, inspire, motivate, encourage, discipline and be tolerant of the ways of the young person. I must set a good example in morals, social skills and hard work with solid good Christian endeavors in church and everywhere else. I have a responsibility to spend time, to listen and to be there for the young person.
Proverbs 22:6 reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” There is no one moment in time (as a song goes); the time is now, here and at any time where we all adults should aspire to catch more than one moment in time when God brings a young person across our path to inspire and to encourage in the ways of our God.
Training “….a child in the way he should go….” includes: (1) I must set godly examples such as in prayers, reading God’s word, worship and in serving God. I must go to church and I must be a good employer, employee, parent, guardian and honor God in all stations of life I am in at any point of time, and (2) I must check myself every day to ensure I am not disqualified to be a good example to a young person.
Psalm 139:13-14 affirms the utmost value of each life created by God and Proverbs 22:6 reminds us that we are privileged and honored that God entrusts us with the young life God brought into being. Today, shall we all make our society a better place by investing well in a child now?
God, I thank you for the precious gift of life. I thank you for the young person you have brought into my midst. Grant me the wisdom to train up the child in my care, the perseverance to carry on the task and the joy of the Lord to assure me I have been faithful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
诗篇 139: 13-14