With a third child on the way, I think about parenting a lot these days. While I give kudos to all the great parenting books out there, (there are many) I have found that the Bible has plenty to say about the subject.
Hebrews 4:12 NIV “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
On Mother’s Day my pastor taught on parenting. He made a very, very interesting point from Proverbs 22:6 NASB “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” As he pointed out, the specific word train used here refers to “the roof of the mouth/the palate” (Strong’s H2596 – chanak) Which to us, in our culture, makes no sense. I mean, when I say training, most would think “potty training,” “personal training,” etc. But the roof of the mouth?
Then my pastor made this very important point – in ancient Hebrew culture, midwives would put a finger into a bowl of dates and then put that finger into the roof of the newborn’s mouth to train it to suck properly so as to receive nourishment from the mother. Gesenius’s Lexicon says “to imbue someone with anything to instruct, to train up.” Imbue meaning – To inspire or influence thoroughly (Dictionary.com)
Okay, getting a little to nerdy here, even for me, so let me expound on what this meant to me . . . we’re to give our kids a taste of God’s Word, of Himself in order to “train up” our kids. (Psalm 34:8 NASB “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!“) So what are they tasting? A lot of rules with no heart that leaves a bitterness? A lot of talk but no walk that leaves a blandness? or is it an authentic faith, a devotion to the Word that’s lived out at home, at church, at Target . . . that is sweet and enticing? I pray that my parenting is a natural overflow of my relationship with God and my devotion to His Word.
Psalm 119:103 NASB “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”