Pristine Grace

Train Up a Child
by Richard Warmack
Train Up a Child

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6

     When I was a self-righteous, moral, religious, lost sinner, I was concerned about getting my two son's "to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior". I spent hours praying "to a god who cannot save", a god of my own imagination and invention, a god who wanted to save sinners, was trying to save sinners, yet unable to save them because they just wouldn't let them. Then, at the height of my self-righteous, Pharisaic religion, the Lord was pleased to bring His true Gospel across my path, revealing His Son to me and in me as "the Lord MY RIGHTEOUSNESS." Immediately, I didn't consult with friends, family, or old religious acquaintances, but sought guidance from Him alone who is the teacher and guide to all His redeemed. It was at that point, like the Samaritan woman that Christ met at the well, I forgot about everything that I before deemed important, and wanted more than anything for everyone I knew to KNOW the only true and living God. 

     From that point forward, instead of seeking to get my children to make a false profession of religion like I had on 3 different occasions, me and my wife took it as of utmost importance to follow the wise instruction God gave through His servant Solomon in the above verse, keeping our sons under the Gospel of God's free grace whether they wanted to be under it or not. Don't get me wrong: like any parent, we wanted and encouraged our children to excel in every area - education, music, sports, friendships, and relationships. But we realized that if they reached the pinnacle of success, excelling all their peers, and knew not the Lord Jesus Christ as the "LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS", they had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I knew that I had no promise from God that He was bound or obligated to give my sons "eternal life", but I also knew that unless they were "trained up in the way they should go", they could not and would not ever "KNOW THE LORD" - "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."(John 17:3) As a parent, especially one who is a "justified sinner", the Lord has entrusted into our hands the most precious of gifts, our children. If we truly know the Lord, it should be our highest obligation to do everything in our power to keep our God before their eyes and minds, in hope that the Lord will be pleased to bring them to true faith and true repentance.