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The Way They Should Go

“In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:5-6).

We all know what pitfalls wait to hold our children. We want to keep them from being caught in sin’s traps. So how do we get our children set on the right path? Our tendency may be to give them “do” and “don’t” lists.

Do you remember being given summer reading lists? Being required to read a given list of books has rarely taught a child the love of reading. What makes a child love reading is the moment he holds a book about something he loves, something real to him.

In the same way, we don’t teach our children to love righteousness with do’s and don’ts. The only way we set our children on the right path is to show them the path that follows Jesus. How do we do this? We tell them about Him, yes, but more than that, we follow that path ourselves. As we submit our will to Jesus, spend daily time with Him, worship Him and serve our families as He would, our children see our belief is not about behavior or religion but about our hearts.

Let’s not focus on changing our children’s behavior so much as introducing them to the One who can change their hearts.

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