Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 25, 1971

Early Training

F. A. Smiddy

Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it." It doesn't matter what branch of science is considered. Once we depart from theories and consider solid facts it will be found that the Bible anticipated these truths far in advance of the Scientists. This verse serves as an example of the teaching of modern psychologists.

It has been demonstrated that the mind operates on two levels — the conscious and the subconscious. Envision, if you will, a recording tape of sufficient length to reach from birth to death. This is your memory. Every incident that you were ever aware of is recorded on this tape. It lies there in your subconscious forgotten, dormant as it were. Some memories can be recalled at will. Others require some related stimulus to bring them back into the consciousness.

In God's providence, this serves a very definite purpose. Prov. 22:6 is stated thus by the psychologist, "Man is the sum total of his experiences." It was no accident of fate that caused Timothy to be the outstanding servant of God that he was. His mother and grandmother formed his character as a boy. Sitting at the feet of Gamaliel no doubt had much to do with Paul's zeal in later life.

The grown man is like a cake from the housewife's oven. The desired results in making a good cake can only be obtained by following the directions in the cook-book. If an ingredient is left out, or one added, or if haphazardly thrown together, the resultant cake will leave much to be desired. So it is with our children.

The ingredients of a man's character are added slowly, one by one, during his formative years. If he has "observed" love, honesty, etc., with a resultant happy well ordered life in his parents, he will tend to emulate these when he is older. Conversely, if he observes a double standard in your conduct, there will be an adverse effect.

When a person is selfish, greedy, grasping, or self centered, you may be sure that the childhood of that person holds the key to the reasons for his conduct. The reaction to any given situation will be governed by the result of the "blending" of the ingredients on the recording tape deep in the subconscious.

What kind of future do you want for your child? Do you realize the extent of consequences possible to the eternal security of your son or daughter that will be decided largely by you? Remember that your every action and everything you say is being recorded on a memory tape and in future years may be the deciding factor in how your son will spend eternity.

Jesus Christ left us a perfect example to follow. Let us take him as our divine guide. Let us be an example to our children even as He is to us. Let us implant in the hearts of our children His every precept now while there is time. It is not enough to take the family to the services of the church. It is in the home that a young child learns. He may not understand many of the big words used in sermons, but he is quick to understand "examples."

As parents, we exert the strongest influence on our child. Let us then be ever careful of our speech and actions. "Bring up a child in the way he should go," by teaching him as early as he can understand the things concerning the Gospel. Teach him to pray. Let your own light so shine that you will light his path to the arms of Jesus. And then, your own soul shall prosper.

— 1104 Chestnut, Duncan, Oklahoma 73533