Train Up By Mark Hamby
Would you believe me if I told you that I found an ancient promise from a man named Fenelon that can prepare your children to live meaningful and worthy lives? Before I share this ancient promise, let us first look at another ancient promise concerning how we raise our children: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 . he root word for train!" חנךcha#nak$!means literally %to narrow or restrict.& ' he most natural meaning of this word carries the idea of training within boundaries. (everal historians have connected this word, train, to the practice of midwives dipping their fingers in crushed dates or figs and massaging the pallets of newborns. his massaging of the pallet created a sucking refle) that caused a restriction in the mouth, which led to swallowing. * his line of reasoning teaches us that training up our children re+uires cultivating a taste that develops their appetite to follow the path ,od has designed for them. % raining& our children, then, re+uires much more than simply providing educational and recreational activities. It re+uires the creation of appeti-ing learning environments and e)periences so that our children will passionately pursue worthy goals that are connected to their areas of ,od.given giftedness. /arents are responsible for stimulating, cultivating, and developing a child0s taste and appetite for his or her particular way or bent. 1ultivating these appetites is not always easy, especially in the midst of an indulgent culture that lends itself to distractions. But history provides evidence that we can raise our children to rise above these distractions. For e)ample, when Francois Fenelon mentored the grandson of 2ing 3ouis 4I5, he dealt with an e)tremely distracted child. When Fenelon became his teacher, this child was so distracted he was considered incorrigible6 even leaders in the court were afraid of him7 But within a few years Fenelon had taken this child from incorrigible dishonor to the privileged position of a noble prince. When I read about this transformation in Fenelon0s book, The Education of a Child, I was convinced that this seventeenth.century wisdom was desperately needed today. Fenelon writes: %(uffer a child to play, mi)ing instruction with amusement: let wisdom appear to him at intervals, and always with a smiling face. Be careful not to fatigue him by an indiscreet e)actness.& 8lways keep in mind that %health and innocence are the true sources of en9oyment6 but those who have had the misfortune to accustom themselves to violent pleasures, lose all taste for those of a more moderate nature, and fatigue themselves in a restless pursuit, seeking after e)cessive gratifications. . . . In this state of frivolity, if a child gives himself up to idleness, which is the vacancy of the soul, :he; . . . e)hausts himself into a state of weariness. hese children often accustom themselves to sleep one.third more than is necessary for the preservation of health. his indulgence serves only to weaken, to undermine their constitution, and e)pose them to bodily infirmities, whereas a moderate degree of sleep, accompanied with regular e)ercise, e)hilarates and renders the human frame vigorous and robust6 which makes the true perfection of the body, without mentioning the vast advantage which the mind draws from it.&< raining our children in the way they should go re+uires the influence of attractive righteousness and is a far greater influence than the violent pleasures to which Fenelon refers. I find it interesting that <*= years ago children were being influenced by violent
pleasures!hundreds of years prior to the invention of video games7 In order to successfully influence our children to love what is good and hate what is evil, we need to separate them from!and encourage them to separate themselves from!these deadly attractions. >ur children will succumb to deadly attractions unless we, as parents, pursue and provide healthy alternatives. I will never forget the time I took a teen on a mountain hike. he vistas were breathtaking. he rock climbing was incredible. But the teen spent most of his time te)ting his girlfriend. ?e was so distracted that he couldn0t en9oy or benefit from this once in a lifetime e)perience. (o here0s a proposal. 8s a family, consider going on a thirty.day media fast. his means no video games, no 5, no movies, no Facebook, no radio, no newspapers, no Fox News! nothing related to the media. he first week will not be easy. But soon your entire family will begin to e)perience an unusual freedom. @ou will begin to do things that you haven0t thought of doing for a long time. @ou will begin spending more time outdoors. @ou will spend more time talking, playing games, creating, reading, and building lasting relationships. In ' /eter *:'' we read, “!eloved, " urge you as so#ourners and e$iles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (%&' . Friends, there is a war being waged against our souls. In * /eter * we read that 3ot0s righteous soul was being ve)ed from day to day by the things he saw and the things he heard in (odom and ,omorrah. Aotice that 3ot didn0t do those things6 he 9ust saw and heard them. he word ve$ed means %to be tortured or torn apart.& >ur children0s souls are worth fighting for7 We have been given instructions by ,od to %train up& our children in the way they should go. his involves training within restricted boundaries. It0s time to remove the idols that are so easily accessible and cultivate in our children an appetite for what is good and lovely and 9ust and beautiful and worthy. Books to Bead (hildren aged 2)*: Sanji’s Seed by B.C. Beinhard Teddy’s Button by Dark ?amby The True Princess by 8ngela ?unt Trusty Tried and True by Dark and Eeborah ?amby Trusty Gets Off Track by Dark and Eeborah ?amby +ges 6 and up: Basket of Flowers by 1hristoph von (chmid Basil, Or Honesty and ndustry by 1harlotte >0Brien sh!ael by F.E.F.A. (outhworth "a!#li$hter by Daria (. 1ummins "ittle Sir Galahad by 3illian ?olmes %osa of "inden Castle by 1hristoph von (chmid Struck By "i$htnin$ by 1atherine ,race >0Brien 8udios to 3isten o: & Pee# Behind the Scenes Charlie’s Choice Hed$e of Thorns Sir 'alcol! and the 'issin$ Prince Teddy’s Button
5ideos to Watch Ca#ti(ated by /hillip elferG /eople to Deet /hillip elfer is the founder and director of Media Talk 101, which he began in *HH=. ?e is author of the book )hat )ouldn’t *esus +o, 'edia choices in the li$ht of followin$ Christ and has ministered to youth and families over the last twenty years, sharing at camps, retreats, conferences, 1hristian schools, and church services around the country. ?e has recently written and produced a documentary called Ca#ti(ated, :http:IIwww.captivatedthemovie.comI; which addresses the impact of media in our culture and the growing need for discernment. 1aptivated was awarded as Bunner.up for Best Eocumentary at the San Antonio Independent !ristian Film Festi"al and was selected as a Finalist for Best of Festival. /hillip has served in various pastor roles over the years and is passionate about family.integrated church and ministry. ?e served for several years as a co.pastor at #i"in$ %ater Fellows!ip in Bulverde, e)as, with Bichard %3ittle Bear& Wheeler. ?e and his wife Dary have been married for twenty years and home.educate their four children. Fndnotes: . &trong,s %$haustive (oncordance of the !ibleJ ?*=KL *. (windoll, 1harles. Parenting: -rom &urviving to Thriving .or/boo/. Aashville: W /ublishing ,roup, *HHL. <. Fenelon, F. The %ducation of a (hild from the .isdom of -enelon, edited by Dark ?amby. G. hese audios and videos can be reviewed at www&lampli$!ter&net. 0ar/ 1amby is the founder and president of "a!#li$hter 'inistries, where he serves with a dedicated staff to ma/e "a!#li$hter Pu-lishin$, 2amplighter Theatre, 2amplighter 3uild, "a!#li$hter "ife.Transfor!in$ Se!inars, and #ampli$!ter Moments 4aily 5adio !roadcast a reality6 "t is his mission to ma/e ready a people prepared for the 2ord by building (hristli/e character 6 6 6 one story at a time6 7ou can read or listen to the most recent 2amplighter production at www&lampli$!ter&net6 1opyright *H'*, used with permission. 8ll rights reserved by author. >riginally appeared in the Cune *H'* issue of The 8ld &choolhouse9 0aga:ine, the family education maga-ine. Bead the maga-ine free at www. >(Daga-ine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www. >(8pps.com to read the maga-ine on your mobile devices.