Have you ever trained for something? A test. A competition. A job. A race. I remember training for a half marathon a few years back. I was excited because my wife actually wanted to run the race also (which if you know her you know what a huge endeavor this was for her). Anyway, I researched and determined a training routine. It started out easy. A couple of miles a few times a week. But then it became increasingly more and more demanding. No longer was the training noninvasive to our lives. The training had taken over every moment of our spare time. Training does that, you start by forming it, then it begins to form you.
The principle of training is critical to every area of life. To begin and excel at your job you need training. To be proficient at your hobby, you need training. To transcend your competition you must train at your craft. To raise children, you must train them, or have them trained. The question is by what or whom are they being trained?
Catechize is an old English word that simply means “training” or “prepare”. It’s the art or science of preparing someone for some pursuit. The term is typically used in religious conversations. However, it is a useful term when one thinks about raising kids. Children need to be trained. They do not come out of the womb fully formed. They need forming, training, and catechizing. As a follower of Jesus, I believe that is job #1 for me as a parent, to “impress upon my children” a love for God and others according to His commands. But I’m not the only one seeking to catechize my children. Kevin DeYoung calls out this reality in his article “Don’t Let the Culture Train Up Your Children“.
Training is difficult. It takes time, energy, and effort over a prolonged period. But here is a reality I found when training for my half marathon, to do no training at all, is simply another form of training. You see my body was being formed one way or the other during those 3 to 4 months of training. It was either becoming more formed into a half-marathon physique or becoming less and less of a running figure. The same is true of training our children. Someone or something is and will be forming them, the question is will it be you or another? And if it’s another, what are they seeking to form your children into? As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!
Until Next Time…