Category Christian School Comment
Title 48.7 Equipping Your Child for the Race
Author/s Dr. Larry Taylor
Preview We’re raising our children in extremely challenging times: ungodly ways abound and loud voices hail those ways as right. How do you train children to live godly lives so when they’re old, they won’t depart from wisdom? Dr. Larry Taylor, head of Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas), has developed a practical way to do that, and I’ve invited him to share it here. —Dan
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One of the gold nuggets in Scripture that I believe presents a comprehensive curriculum guide is in Luke 2:52: "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." I'm often asked what type of curriculum should be used to train our children. My simple response is to use Luke 2:52 as the curriculum guardrails throughout every day. This frustrates parents. Everyone wants a "how to" resource. I've used many books and resources to gain insight, and there is a wealth of incredible training material available. However, I'm suggesting a paradigm shift for most parents. Our training paradigm should elevate how Jesus discipled His team—He taught by doing life with them and by observing and modeling for them. The four areas in which Jesus grew present a holistic plan of what we should be observing in our children.

Are your children growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man? First, let's establish a simple definition of these four areas, and then we will visit specific practices that allow you to guide and mentor your children. Jesus grew in wisdom: God's opinion on all knowledge; application of biblical principles to life areas. In stature: physical growth; spiritual or "heart" wellness; emotional balance. In favor with God: personal relationship with God; Christlikeness; obedience; passion; love for our Savior. In favor with man: relationships with people; social skills; character traits; having a good name.

How do we know if our children are growing in these areas? By talking to them, observing them, listening to them, asking them questions, and having conversations with them. We support their growing in these areas by channeling them to people who are likeminded and who are also endeavoring to mentor children in these areas. Therefore, partnerships with a Christ-centered school and a church focused on authentic discipleship are vital.

There's no use beginning the building process of our child's heart unless we are committed to God's Word as the foundational source of all truth and wisdom. For example, wisdom must be built on the foundation of God's Word, or else the prevalent human wisdom and empty philosophy will form the child's thinking and values.

The Luke 2:52 maturity paradigm provides insight for us in that our training plan must be holistic in nature. The training model I've developed is practical, holistic, and seamlessly fits into everyday life. It provides substance to the four areas of Luke 2:52. It's the glue to "doing life" discipleship with your children. In other words, the five areas comprising the TRAINing© model provide the day-to-day focus areas that happen as you "do life" with your child.

The TRAINing© process happens throughout the day—it's how our Master mentored His disciples. The model is simple to remember:

Transcendent Purpose

Reverence for God

Aiming Arrows by a "3-D" Discipline Strategy

Internal Strength, Balance, and Resolve

Necessary Life Practices

As we "do life" with our children, we want to teach them about God's transcendent purpose for their lives; develop their reverence for God; "aim" our children/arrows by using a biblical discipline model I call the "3-D" discipline strategy (biblical discipline results in discernment and direction); help them develop their internal strength through trials and tribulation; and prepare them for practical life skills such as work, financial management, family, etc. In the next Christian School Comment, I'll define how to integrate each of these five areas into your daily, weekly, and annual family plan.

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