Podcast 25: Training Up Children

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Training Up Children by Seeking Old Paths

Train up a child in the way he should go, 

And when he is old he will not depart from it.

                                  Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

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I believe the parent is the primary educator in a child’s life. Training up children has always been the sovereign purview of the parent. But over the past 40-50 years, parental authority in the home, society, government, and culture has been eroded. We now live in an age when children are aided by government entities in divorcing their parents because they don’t like a decision a parent has made regarding their life. Children are emboldened to defy their parents in some of the most important decisions of their lives just because they don’t “feel” like obeying a parent’s rule that clashes with the perverse agendas of a popular culture.

The undermining of the home and family is in full swing, including a deviant re-definition of terms reaching even to the biological absolute of male and female genders. The rebellion of this generation is a continuing of the rebellion of the last generation who have grown into positions of power and influence. The youth rebellion of the 1960s produced a liberal mentality void of traditional values that had been a firm foundation in the generations that saw America through two world wars, plus a civil war, and a revolution before that.

For my part, I will not be trained by an unhinged popular culture, corrupt politics, and propagandist media forces to believe that good is evil and evil is good.

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Not everything is relative. Just because one corner of society kicks and screams and makes a lot of noise does not prove their case just or unjust. Manipulation of the masses has been the weapon of tyrants and dictators for centuries and their ploys in doing so are nothing new under the sun. Serious students of history know this. Critical thinking individuals discern truth and will stand for nothing less. Such were the patriots of America’s founding generation.

Contemporary powers seeking to undermine liberty and justice in American society—or any Western democracy—set their evil eye and machinations first on the destruction of the foundation of society, the home and family. The unrest today has been in the making for some time. Voices have shouted warnings as crying in the wilderness.

Like sheep led to slaughter, America has now found itself in the grip of confusion regarding the values and elements of life and living that have provided strength, guidance, and protection to generations past for millennia.

Consider the current state-of-affairs that are permeating our culture:  

  • The dismantling of biological male and female genders, to be replaced by a host of bizarre gender choices and/or fluidity
  • Virulent feminism stripping women of true and virtuous womanhood while championing the bitter redefinition of what women are
  • The destruction of manhood in no uncertain terms
  • Hostile allegations of racism with no evidence to support accusations
  • Safe spaces for triggered youth, unable to sensibly debate a topic from a position of informed reason
  • The shameless exploitation of children in every vile way

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. How do we chip away and melt such a monstrous evil in our day to make for a hopeful and bright future for our children tomorrow?

the strength of a nation is the home

I believe the Bible is clear in its instruction to the purpose:

Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths,

where the good way is, and walk in it;

then you will find rest for your souls.          

Jeremiah 6:16 NKJV

When I look back in search of the old paths and the good way, I seek out old books, treasure troves of literature, the handmaiden of history. Literary works of an era mirror its age. Over time, themes, patterns, and life lessons prove their veracity and worth generation after generation. Reading the words and wisdom of past times with the insight of contemporary times gives one a broader scope for understanding and discernment. For parents especially, it is vital to have wise direction for their life to confidently direct the pathways of their children and make their home both a sanctuary and a school. This equips each generation for a successful and purposeful life as responsible, statesmen/citizen/servants, fulfilling the destiny God has called them to in His Kingdom and on the earth.

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.      

Proverbs 22:6 NLT

I have recently added a new book to my Vintage Book Treasure Hunt collection, culling classic values for life into a volume designed to instruct the individual and family in right living through best practices. Published in 1885, the archaic presentation in the writing style diminishes little from the sage advice it offers in the training of home and family in public and private.

In the Preface of The Home Instructor, compiler Thomas W. Handford writes:

The Home Instructor is intended to be a friendly adviser, rather than a stern dictator. The results of many years of experience and observation are gathered in these pages, with the hope that they may prove both pleasant and helpful. Great stress is laid on the value of home training, from the deepening conviction that as the home is, so the life will be.

The home is the first school in which we begin the lessons of life; it is the kindergarten, where a youth learns to use his varied powers, and where he should be taught a vigorous and harmonious development of the social faculties.

If every youth could be trained in accordance with an earnest belief in the highest possible conditions of educated humanity, we should have fewer wasted, weary lives, going down into the darkness, because no loving hand had ever helped them to climb upward to the sun.

It is the duty of each one of us to be polite, courteous, and gentle in all our associations with our kind; to illustrate in ourselves the highest, holiest manhood and womanhood; to speak the kind word that shall reverberate in undying music through all the spheres; to lighten the heavy load by one touch of a helping hand; to cultivate flowers in our hearts and lives, instead of weeds.

My heart leaps to read such words woven with golden threads of truth and the ideal of all things good and beauty. Why isn’t this the norm in our homes anymore? What must we do to stem and reverse the tide of destruction coming against our children and families?

I’m a strong proponent for safeguarding the American principals of individuality, self-government, parental authority in home and family, and the liberty of homeschool training in children to produce the noblest contributors to society.

Over the next few months I’ll be sharing excerpts from this 480-page go-to guide book for the Christian family practiced over 140 years ago including chapters on: The Mother, Happy Childhood, Honor, Conversation, and more!

Though the world is much changed from that of 1885, the human heart is not. Distilling biblical principles for life and living into sage advice, for Victorian times or this turbulent season of chaos and confusion, is a timeless gift drawn from the wells of classic words and works.

You can also read this important preface article to The Home Instructor Series in the April 2018 issue of RUBY MAGAZINE. Just click on the digital magazine below to read this and more inspiring and informative articles to enrich Christian women:

CLICK HERE to order RUBY Magazine April 2018 in glossy print format!

Sharing Train Up Children by Seeking Old Paths this week with:

Literacy Musing Monday

Create With Joy Inspire Me Monday

Vintage Mama’s Cottage


Spiritual Sundays

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About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.


  1. Our family has been returning the old ways more and more of late! Great to have you link up at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!

    • Yes. Each generation will forge new ways, but must take care to link securely to the compass-wisdom of old paths or they risk carving walkways over cliffs.

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