Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  –Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

The Hebrew word translated “train up” in Proverbs 22:6 is chanak. It means to narrow, to discipline, to dedicate. “Chanak” or “dedicate” is a construction term. So what is the Lord telling us? I believe that He is encouraging us to help our children find out what they are dedicated to become, to prepare them to live God’s plan for their life.

We want to lead our children in a saving relationship with Jesus. We want them to develop the gifts that God has given them and to prepare for the path that God wants each of them to walk. Developing gifts and preparing children for their life journey takes time, prayer, and patience. There are some skills that all of your children should share and there are others that are unique to each child. God will give us the resources to help each of our children develop the gifts that He has given them.

There are three areas of knowledge/skills children should have.

  1. Relationships
  2. Life Skills
  3. Academic Skills

Ask the Lord to show you how to help your children develop the abilities that He has given them. God will provide the resources you need to help them develop the skills He wants them to have. In fact, the most important spiritual and down-to-the-ground practical thing you can do for your children is PRAY. Keep them lifted up before the Lord constantly.

Pray for

  • their salvation.
  • their growth as Christians.
  • them to have a desire to read the Bible.
  • them to be faithful as witnesses for Jesus.
  • their protection.
  • their education.
  • them to have Godly friends.
  • their future spouses.






Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid — John 14:27 (ESV)

At the end of the day, your children want to know they are loved and that you are proud of them. Your children are protected from emotional and spiritual and even physical harm by your love for them. The best way to display this love is by praying for your children. When children know that you love them, they feel less need to find love or acceptance from somewhere else. They are less likely to join gangs or to be involved in pre-marital sex. They don’t have to try to fit in with the crowd because they have their identity and their rightful place in your family. They feel a sense of acceptance and peace.

In Matthew 5:9 (ESV), Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” By practicing harmony in our own lives with God and with our fellow man, we can become examples of peace for our children and others.

Yes, there are times when peace evades us or when we feel anxious or emotional. We feel alone, scared, inadequate, out of control. It seems there is no one who cares or who can help. It’s times like these when we should remember the One who love us, helps us, protects us, and will never let us down. Turn to Jesus in the good times and the dark times. This is when you can possess true inner peace. (Barnes, Scottie. Silent Victims. Hear My Heart Publishing, 2018)



Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. — Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV)

Bitterness between parents and children is poisonous. It is a time bomb waiting to explode. The best thing to do is to defuse it by forgiving each other. The Greek word translated for forgiving in this passage is also translated as grace. In this scripture, the Apostle Paul is telling us to forgive the ones who have offended us, even our own children or other family members with the grace that we have received through Jesus Christ.

Grace is unmerited, undeserved favor. God opened the door for you to be forgiven from ALL of your sins when He sent His Son to the world to pay your penalty and mine. Jesus Christ took your sins and mine to the cross. He took our punishment for us so that we could be pardoned and freely forgiven for all of the wrong that we have done. We did not do anything to earn or deserve God’s forgiveness.


  • Take the time NOW to talk with God about your need to be forgiven or about whom you need to forgive.
  • Grace removes bitterness and anger.
  • It’s never too late to forgive.

Silent Victims Cover (2)(Copied from Silent Victims: God’s Light in a Child’s World of Incarcerationby Scottie Barnes with Thom and Betsy Black, Scott Horne, and Sandi Huddleston-Edwards, Hear My Heart Publishing, 2017)