“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is
old, he will not depart from it.”— Prov 22:6.
If we would educate our children properly, train them in the way they should go, and not in the way that they would. Remember we all are born with a decided bias towards evil, and therefore, if we let children choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong. The parents cannot tell what their tender infant may grow up to be, — tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish he or she may be any of these things or not, it is all uncertain. But one thing the parents can say with certainty: He or she will have a corrupt and sinful heart. It is natural to us to do wrong. “Foolishness,” says Solomon, “is bound in the heart of a child” (Prov.22:15). “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Prov. 29:15). Our hearts are like the agriculture land, let it alone and it is sure to bear
weeds. If then, we would deal wisely with our children, we must not leave him to the guidance of his or her will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one weak and blind; but for pity’s sake, give him not up to his disobedient tastes and inclinations. Do not always allow the children’s likings and wishes. He knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. We do not let him or her decide what they shall eat, and what they shall drink, and how they shall be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with their mind in like manner. Train them in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that their fancies. If you cannot make up your mind to this principle of Christian training, it is useless for you to read any further. Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child’s mind, and it must be your first step to resist it.