Children are like darts and arrows – they’ll land where they are aimed.  The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  I know many good, Christian parents who hang on to this verse as if it’s their knot at the end of the proverbial rope.
This proverb is true from both directions… if you train your children up with a spiritual outlook and world view, they will not depart, but if you train them with an angry, bitter view of life, they will not depart from that either – no matter how much you hate yourself for it.
Kids and Pets
The problem is too many parents expect the church to undo in an hour what their friends, family, and culture has done all week.  If you expect your children to “not depart” from good, you must “train up a child.”
Training involves much more than most parents are willing to give.  Fact is, many people have given more attention to really training their dog than training their children!  Your children will require more positive attention than your pets – much more!
Holding the Bow
I enjoy archery, and I like what the Bible says in Psalm 127:4.  “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.”
This verse calls to me to be a mighty man with a vision for where my children are headed.  They have energy (youth) stored up inside, ready for the moment when I give the go-ahead and release them into life.  I am looking down the sights at their destination, my hand on the trigger.  Where will they go?  Where will the arrow land?
I’m hoping for a bulls-eye.  I pray every day for each of my sons, as I’m sure you do too. But what good are we giving them now while they’re young that will keep them ‘in the way’ later, when they are older?  What wrong are they are learning from us now – that we will wish they could depart from later in life?  Parents, it’s in your hands and it’s not too late!

Article by Pastor Patrick Nix, father of three boys: Austin, 9; Alanson, 6; & Asher, 4