With the sudden passing of the amazing “Whitney Houston”, I felt that it was important to discuss the relevence of a bible verse so often quoted in the Christian community.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Whitney was raised in the churh and no matter what, she was connected to her christain roots. Read this article by Fr. Andrew Moore as he talks about the importance of this passage.

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How vitally important is this godly counsel in our contemporary world? This passage assumes there is a way in which a child should go. He may not want to go that way. Others (peers, playmates, friends or enemies) may not want him to go that way. Circumstances may not be such that he finds it convenient to go that way. But there is a way — there is a way — there is a way. Those of us who are charged with the care of these children — parents, priests, teachers, godparents — must see to it that they find that way and are trained to live in that way.

Training is not always easy, seldom comfortable, rarely fun and often painful. The Hebrew term here means to make narrow or to constrict. Motivation, instruction and discipline are elements of training. While it is hard, training is never abusive nor hateful. The child is not demeaned or belittled. The goal of training is health, not harm; it is to save, not to slay.

“Train up a child in the way he should go …”

The Holy Prophet Isaiah spoke of this when he said, “Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” (Is. 30:20).

Jesus called the first disciples to that way when He cried, “Follow Me …” (Matt. 4:19). In the midst of that blessed journey, He challenged those spiritual children, “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). He was training, He was leading, He was guiding them in that ever-narrowing way. Near the end, his words surely pierced their souls: “You will indeed drink My cup and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” (Matt. 20:22). No, it was not easy. It was the way of agony, suffering, rejection and even death; but it was the way — the narrow way — the only way that leads to life. Jesus loved them too much to let them go another way.

by Fr. Andrew Moore

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