"Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
We all have heard this verse many times. If we have been in the church long enough we have probably grown dull of hearing what this verse is truly saying. Pay careful attention to the first word of this verse. The word is "train." How many of you, like myself, often hear this verse as "teach?" There is a difference between "training" and "teaching." Unfortunately, I believe much of this can be seen in the lives of my millennial generation. My generation has been in "teaching" overload. "Training" is something that seems to have eluded my generation as many now need on the job training. How we got here is of less consequence than finding a solution to the problem. The solution is to recover the art of "training."
Here is what I am getting at, and I say this with as much humility and brokenness as I can, if we are simply "teaching" and not "training," we are going to have generation after generation who have simply "read the book;" let's focus on our book - the Bible. They will be growing into their adult life to face principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, having only "read the book," with no clue how to truly fight the good fight of faith. If we are not "training" the next generation, they will faint, save God's mercy and grace, which is always abundant.
To minister to the next generation is perhaps the greatest calling of all, for you are training the next soldiers of the Kingdom of God to bring heaven to earth. Be encouraged in knowing that the angels of children are always seeing the face of the Father (Matthew 18:10 NKJV), so you truly are not alone in this battle.
“The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Judges 6:12 (NKJV)