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

A woman was at the grocery store, and observed a very frustrated dad pushing a shopping cart that held a screaming toddler. Under his breath, the dad could be heard muttering, “Stay calm, Billy. Don’t cry, Billy.”

The woman was impressed and said to the dad, “Wow, you are really patient with little Billy.”

The dad replied, “No, that’s little Johnny. I’m Billy.”

Probably one of the most important factors in successful parenting is being authentic, or real, with your children. Show them the ups and the downs of life. When you mess up, tell them you messed up, even though it is hard to do. They are going to know you messed up either way. You can’t hide it from them.

Your children have incredible hearing. What you think they don’t hear, they hear. They can’t hear you calling them to clean their room, but they can hear anything else you say in the house. They will hear and see everything; it is incredible what they pick up.

So, instead of trying to hide things and act like you’ve got it all together and you’re fine, just admit it when you blow it. Talk to them, be real around them. If on Sunday you’re at church acting all spiritual, but on Monday you’re yelling and cursing at them and verbally abusing them, it’s not going to work. You’ve got to be consistent across the board.

Be consistent. It’s easy to be tired and frustrated, but don’t quit. Keep doing what you know is right. In our passage today, the word ‘train’ implies consistency. It’s not just a one-day thing, it’s every day. Instill these principles from God in their life every day, and then they will have a chance to be Godly. If you don’t, the opposite will happen. So be diligent, train them all the time. Look for every opportunity to teach them something.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.