Child Training-1: Difference between Teaching and Training

  • Written by Pastor James
  • Published: 23 May 2013

Hello, parents!

I have been reading Hints of Child Training and found it very helpful. Our home group, which is made up mainly of parents with young children, is reading it together. I thought it would be helpful to you all if I summarized and gave excerpts from the book. I hope you find them to be beneficial as you strive to train up your children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6).

The difference between teaching and training:

"It has been said that the essence of teaching is causing another to know. It may similarly be said that the essence of training is causing another to do. Teaching gives knowledge. Training gives skill. Teaching fills the mind. Training shapes the habits. Teaching brings to the child that which he did not have before. Training enables a child to make use of that which is already his possession. We teach a child the meaning of words. We train a child in speaking and walking. We teach him the truths which we have learned for ourselves. We train him in habits of study, that he may be able to learn other truths for himself. Training and teaching must go on together in the wise upbringing of any and every child…. He who knows how to teach a child, is not competent for the oversight of a child's education unless he also knows how to train a child.

"Training is a possibility long before teaching is. Before a child is old enough to know what is said to it, it is capable of feeling, and of conforming to, or of resisting, the pressure of efforts for its training…. [T]he training of children is begun much earlier than their teaching….

"Child training properly begins at a child's birth, but it does not properly end there…. Child training goes on as long as a child is a child…. Child training affects a child's sleeping and waking, his laughing and crying, his eating and drinking, his looks and his movements, his self-control and his conduct toward others. Child training does not change a child's nature, but it does change his modes of giving expression to his nature…."


Hannah the Woman and the Mother (5/5)

  • Written by Pastor James
  • Published: 15 May 2013

And if Hannah clung to God, how much more should we? After all, a holy God cannot receive sinners simply because they come to Him, can He? If God heard Hannah, it was only because of what Christ would do in the future for His people! And in Jesus Christ, we see the depth of God's love for us. And only in Jesus Christ, we have a full, perfect guarantee that God accepts us when we come to Him, that God will never cast us away! If God should be for us, who can be against us?

Great and many are the challenges of motherhood, of Christian parenthood. The countless thankless jobs we have to do are small things in comparison to preparing our children for their future. As we see the very fabric of our culture and society degenerate rapidly, it doesn't take much to imagine that the world they will have to face will be far worse than ours. So then, what greater gift can we give to them than the gospel of Jesus Christ? Christ alone can shield them from the ever-thickening darkness of this world. Christ alone can empower them to outshine the darkness that will surround them. Our children need more than our words. They also need to see the gospel lived out at home. They need to see from their parents and older Christians that God is not a burden but our greatest delight and joy! And oh, how they need our prayers!

And who knows? As we lift them up to our God in prayer, God may be pleased to raise up among our children real men and women of faith, who may turn the tides of degeneration and change the course of history for the glory of God and for the good of their fellow men! May the Lord bless our families and our children and the ministry of His church!

Hannah the Woman and the Mother (4/5)

  • Written by Pastor James
  • Published: 15 May 2013

But Hannah's childlessness was but a symptom, wasn't it? Her problem was far deeper than her barren womb. The real cause of Israel's darkness was sin. The real cause of all the troubles of Elkanah's household was sin. The real cause of all the troubles of Hannah was sin. How can this root cause of man's trouble be addressed?

God raised Samuel as His servant. Samuel was a great servant of the Lord. In God's view, Samuel was one of the two greatest intercessors for the people of God in all of Israel's history (Jer. 15:1)! Even so, Samuel could not treat the cancer of sin. Though Samuel was a miracle child, he too was born of sin, himself in need of salvation. So was everyone born of the daughters of Abraham and of David.

To treat this cancer of sin, God would use another woman but in a radically different way! He would use a virgin to bring the Savior of the world! Hannah's inability to bear children was a picture of our inability to save ourselves. But she still had a husband. Her conception was a miracle. But God still used the ordinary means of sexual intercourse (v. 19). But can a woman be conceived without knowing a man? What shows our total helplessness like virgin conception? Mary's virgin conception shows how our redemption had to be wholly the work of God. And the Savior of the world had to come through a virgin conception in order to break the vicious cycle of the Original Sin--the guilt and corruption of Adam's sin handed down from generation to generation through ordinary generation!

But it could not be anyone; it had to be the Son of God born of a Virgin. For the Son of God alone can lead a life of perfect obedience to God. The Son of God alone can pay the penalty of our sin because He alone can bear the infinite wrath of God against sin! How can we ever fathom the depth of God's love for His people--this love that sacrificed His only Son for our redemption! And to think that we have been brought into the household of God to be His beloved children, co-heirs with Christ Jesus our Lord! 

Hannah the Woman and the Mother (3/5)

  • Written by Pastor James
  • Published: 15 May 2013

We live in a fallen world, in a broken society. No one is free from pain, suffering, and misery. For Hannah, it was her childlessness. For others, it is their poor health, or their deject poverty, or their broken relationships, or their frustrating career, or the lack of recognition for their achievements, or even the way they look. We all must deal with them somehow.

We can try to look on the bright side and dismiss or deny the troubles of our life. We can rationalize them away as insignificant. We can see them as opportunities to build up our character and improve ourselves. But all these ways are like taking an aspirin to treat cancer. These troubles of life are but symptoms. Their cause lies deeper. If we do not go to the root of the problem, whatever courageous action we take can only numb our pain; it cannot cure the sickness underneath our pain. The sufferings of this world, the brokenness of our relationships, the flaws in our character, the emptiness of our soul in the midst of abundance--these are all, one and all, God's invitation to Himself, our only hope and Redeemer.

Think about how amazing this truth is! What hope and encouragement it offers to us! What can we do when troubles crash against us, wave after wave, and we feel like we are drowning? What can we do when it feels like God Himself is against us--especially when we know deep inside that we deserve every bit of it, that God is justified in heaping trouble upon trouble on us? If God should be against us, where can we find refuge and protection from HIM? Is there anything we can do to withstand His judgment? Is there anything anybody in heaven and earth can do to shield us from His wrath? No! No one can save us from God's wrath except God Himself! We must run to Him for His mercy! And when we do, He will not cast us away (John 6:37)!

Hannah's agony led her to heart-felt prayer to the Lord. The more she felt dejected, the more she sought after God. The more she felt opposed and abandoned by God, the more she clung to Him! And her prayer was heard and the Lord granted her a child. But not just a child. Not just a son. But so much more than she could imagine. A beloved prophet of God. A judge over God's people. A deliverer for Israel! With the birth of her son, all of her shame and fear, all the pain she suffered at the hand of her enemies, dissipated! In fact, the bitter sorrow of her past made her joy in her son all the sweeter!

Hannah the Woman and the Mother (2/5)

  • Written by Pastor James
  • Published: 14 May 2013

We can imagine just how deeply Hannah was grieved. Even Elkanah's love for her could not console her. Was Hannah a woman unduly obsessed about having children? Someone refusing to look on the bright side, choosing to be miserable just because she doesn't have one thing? Someone who cannot appreciate all the good she already has--her husband's deep love for her, a husband whose love for her makes him worth more than ten sons (v. 8)? Possibly--who can know the heart of a person? But most likely not.

You see, not all discontentment is bad. Not all grief is bad. If we are not grieved by our sin, THAT is bad. If we are so content with God's gifts that we have no hunger for God Himself, THAT is bad. Hannah was ashamed of not having children, of course. She was deeply grieved by Pinnenah's mean and spiteful words against her, of course.

But something made it all the more unbearable.

We know that Hannah's "obsession" with having children ran deeper than her desire for having children. It was the knowledge that the Lord closed her womb. It was the fear that the Lord Himself was against her! If the Lord were against her, what good is the love of a husband, even if he is better than ten sons?

But God was not against her. This was all part of God's plan of raising a deliverer for Israel. What did God use to raise up a servant of His, a deliverer for Israel?

A barren woman.

Her deep longing for a child.

Her aching sense of shame for not being able to have children.

The humiliation she suffered at the hand of another woman.

The dreadful knowledge that the Lord closed her womb.

The terrifying fear that the Lord she worshipped opposed her and abandoned her.

Not that these are good things in and of themselves. Not that God takes pleasure in the pain and suffering of His children. But God showing the wisdom of His ways to transform evil into good. 


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