Do you have what it takes to be a personal trainer? In this Parenting UPGRADE, Holly Hanson, founder of Moms Inc. at Shadow Mountain Community Church, tells us why the job doesn’t demand spandex—it demands spirituality!
“As Moms, training up the next generation is the only job we actually are required by God to do,” Holly says. “The Bible does not command us to clean our homes—can I get an “Amen”?—it does not compel us to make gourmet dinners, it does not even charge us with the responsibility of making sure our kids go to school in the most expensive jeans or latest clothing fashions.”
So what's the mandate? I (Dawn) think parental training is a hefty job description, but Holly says it is all possible by simply following the road map laid out in the Bible.
She continues . . .
What the Bible DOES mandate is found in Proverbs 22:6:
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (KJV).
1. It says to “train up.”
“When I think about training, I picture an Olympic gymnast training for the gold medal. She didn’t start as strong as she is now. She listened to advice, she studied her craft and she modeled the examples of the greats who came before her.
Our kids are like that gymnast, and we are their spiritual gold-medal trainers.
2. Notice, it does not say “your” child—it says “a” child.
That means we also have a responsibility to our grandchildren, the children of our friends, those at our church, and those in our neighborhoods and our extended families. We have a responsibility to model the behavior and impart the values the Bible gives us, wherever God has granted us influence.
3. We should train up that child in the way he should go.
How do we know the way he should go? It all comes down to our own training.
We aren’t born with deep knowledge of God’s Word. In fact, the Bible clearly spells out that we are born “desperately wicked” with dark, sinful hearts.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, KJV)
God says we are like sheep who have all gone astray on our own. It’s only through Jesus’ blood and His salvation of our own wicked lives that we are even able to do any good in the lives of others.
But the salvation is just the first part of the equation. God gives us one (or more) spiritual gifts the very minute we are saved, and He expects us to develop and use them. Some of the gifts you may possess could include: Administration, discernment, evangelism, exhortation, faith, giving, knowledge, leadership, mercy, pastor, prophecy, serving, teaching and wisdom.
4. And when he is old, he shall not depart from it.
This brings us to the next generation: US!
The Bible tells women they are responsible to influence not only the children in this world, but also to influence and train each other.
"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:3-5, NIV).
Do you feel like you are ready to share some of your knowledge and training with another woman? If not, do you know someone who is older or further in their faith than you—someone you can learn from?
It’s a long process to maturity.
We need to spend time with our mentors, ask questions, serve under their leadership and watch and imitate what they do.
Our churches will die if there is not a continual line of leaders trained and ready to step into service.
And just because you may be a mom with little ones, don’t think that gives you a pass from growing at this stage in your life. If you don’t start now, you may miss an opportunity in the future because you haven’t done the groundwork to be spiritually mature and ready for it.
I want to challenge you to be ready. Train yourself first. You can’t pass on what you don’t know. You can’t know unless you learn. Time to get started!
How can you become a better “personal trainer” in a child’s life?
Holly Hanson is a veteran Emmy Award-winning journalist who finds her calling in her family motto: “Love God, Serve Others.” Holly has written and produced internationally for Women of Faith, Turning Point Ministries, and locally with KFMB-TV, KFMB-AM and KPBS Radio. She is married and is a mom, step-mom and step-grandma. Holly is active at Shadow Mountain Community Church, serving on the Women's Ministries Council, singing in the choir, and running Moms Inc., a ministry she founded and directs.