So to the word I go seeking encouragement and a little kick in my pants.
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
This verse escapes me when I most need it. Somehow I fall into the habit of thinking that if I teach the children once they'll know what they are taught and practice it well. This is folly on my part. Clearly Proverbs 22:6 is telling me that I do the training now and the pay off isn't all at once, but rather progressive through their lives. If this is the case I need to adjust my expectations as a parent and make sure to repeat, repeat, repeat until they are trained so that they can be blessed by their training not just for the moment but for life.
The other half of the folly I face is the lack of discipline. Words do not equal the rod.
"When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent." Proverbs 10:19
When I preach to the children and go on and on about how to do this job and what was wrong it never has the desired result. I am reminded that:
"Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but whoever loves him is diligent to discipline him."
Ahhh....I am starting to feel a little better about our lack of diligence situation. I have been lacking in a couple of key areas: discipline and encouragement. All the children have been hearing is mom yammer on with complaint and accusation of jobs not well done. My children need a consistent training, which involves the rod and much praise and encouragement.
As families we rely on each other and need one another to each pull his own load. Those who don't work don't eat, meaning it shouldn't just be daddy working everyday and mommy keeping the home while the children play and are run from one entertainment to another. It means we are training up our young ones to be diligent men and women someday. Who know how to keep a home and how to work hard.
The work of training is much harder than just doing the jobs myself. It takes so much more to teach someone how to do something than to just do it for them, but even more work is requiring the same standard day after day. That is where we prove our mettle. When we discipline for the 20th time over the same offense or where we train that job one more time because they still haven't mastered the details. I haven't gotten to the place yet where we are seeing consistent fruit, but I have seen glimmers of it in the past. That is motivates me to get back on course, well that and the promise that God gives of having children who will not stray from their training!