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Training Up My Children

Weeks ago, my wife scheduled a visit to the U of M Ann Arbor campus, for the two of us to accompany our high school-senior Nathaniel. This morning as we prepared for the trip, it suddenly dawned on me to make the other three kids come along. Dominique is a junior at the same high school; Jordynn is a seventh-grader; and Isaiah is a fourth grader. Why shouldn’t I turn the visit into a family trip to one of the most prestigious campuses in the nation? The bible scripture that came to mind, as I roused the family into the Grand Caravan was Proverbs 22:6, which reads:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

It was a good day. You see it’s one thing for me, as Dad, to continuously harp on the importance of staying in school and concentrating on achieving good grades. From my kids’ perspective, I’ll bet that gripe gets pretty old fairly quickly. But for them to be able to walk among the elite; see the diversity of the student body; visit the technology centers and libraries; and gain an understanding that each of the students attending worked hard to get to the University; that was something tangible for them to hold on to.

My family walked the campus completely amazed by the sites and atmosphere. I was glad God allowed us the opportunity to do such a thing today. I watched little Isaiah’s eyes boggle in wonderment at all of the old buildings and countless campus activities available. Jordynn was fascinated by the curriculum choices. Nathaniel smiled as we walked the campus and noticed people of all different nationalities and backgrounds. Dominique…well…she hates school altogether, so the whole trip was a waste of her time, in her own mind. What can I say? We’re still praying for her.

My wife displayed an awe of wonderment I’ve never seen in her before. Neither of us graduated from college. In fact, she left high school after the 10th grade. She eventually gained a GED, but never furthered her education in life. Our struggles today are the results of our decisions in our past lives . But with our children, we do our best to stress the importance of education. They are our future. I saw the look of realization in her eyes today; a renewed sense of purpose to keep our kids on the right track.

We want our children to make better choices than we did. We want them to live fulfilled and accomplished lives, in God’s will. So, I’ll continue to train them up responsibility so that when they are old, they will not struggle the way I do now. It’s the dream of every parent to see their children lead better lives than their own.

About Ennis Smith

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