Are we TRAINING our CHILDREN to ‘WALK in TRUTH’? “I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.” (2 John 1:4-6)
The second general epistle of Apostle John was written to an elect lady who was close enough to the apostle to make him pen a short note asking her to continue loving other people and to continue standing against false teachers who had infiltrated the church. It is possible that this unnamed lady had previously written to Apostle John about how she had taken a stand against the false teachers who had tried to make inroads among the Christian believers, and this letter was a reply to her letter. This lady was someone chosen by God (hence was called “elect”), who had lived in truth and love, and had influenced even her children to ‘walk in truth’.
Apostle John was obviously stationed at some distance away from this elect lady and so he wrote to her a few lines that were in his mind, which were of an important nature. However, John reassured her that he had many more things to share, which he would do when they would meet shortly so that their joy would be complete (see v. 12). The children of this elect lady’s elder sister were in close proximity to Apostle John, and it is possible that he had a chance to closely observe some of the children of this elect lady.
What Apostle John observed was that these children of this elect lady were walking in Christ Jesus, the ‘Truth of God’ (John 14:6), as they were led by the Holy Spirit. These children were a dynamic testimony of the truth that God had planted in their hearts for God’s Word is truth as well (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 2:15). They were walking in the truth in the light of God’s Word as they were trained from an early age by their dear mother (the elect lady). Clearly, these children were “living by the truth,” or in accordance with God’s revealed word and will.
Today, God’s Word instructs every parent as follows: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). Our duty as godly parents is not only to train our children to walk in the light of God’s Word (Ps. 1:1-2), or, to walk abiding in Christ (John 15:4), but also to walk being led by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16), who alone will provide wisdom (through God’s Word) to discern truth from error. It is the Holy Spirit who guides us in all truth (John 16:13), and He will show clearly to discern good from evil. Finally, we should train our children to walk in love as well, and in the words of Apostle John: “This is love that we walk according to His commandments”. In order to properly reflect the very character of God, our children should make love a way of life (Lev. 19:18; John 13:35; 1 Cor. 13:4-7), and we have to sow the seeds of love in their hearts very early in their lives.
Just as the Lord Jesus was the living embodiment of truth, so He expects our lives to be testimonies to the truth as well. When our children walk in truth, they will walk in integrity as well. Someone has defined integrity as Christ-like character in work clothes. When our children walk in integrity, they will walk securely as the scripture states: “he who walks with integrity walks securely” (Prov. 10:9), and their integrity will guide them throughout their life’s journey (Prov. 11:3).
The question to ask ourselves today is: are we training our children to walk in truth? The truth is not just something to be believed with the mind, but something to be lived out in everyday behavior. Let us ensure that truth is present and active in the lives of our children, and they have hearts to discern error and reject it. This can be done through study of the Word, prayer, meditation, and, most importantly, being led by the Holy Spirit every day.