Today I read Proverbs 22 which contained the phrase, "train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it". I have found this to be both true, and not true. It is certainly true that in order to have good, productive members of society when they are adults we have to train our children in proper manners and etiquette. But there are millions of examples of faithful Latter-day Saints who have reared their children in the Gospel and taught them the right way to live their lives who, for one reason or another, when they are adults, do not keep their testimony.
It is a fine line raising a child. I know as a parent of a two year old little girl, all I want to do is protect her from every bad thing out there and never let any harm come to her. But I also know that she will not remain my little girl forever and that if I want her to be a good mother of her own one day, I have to let her experience all mortality has to offer. So in order to combat the world and it's influence, I teach her the way I want her to live her life, the way God has taught us our lives should be lived. I will teach her the commandments and try my best to help her understand it is the safest, best way to live one's life in this mortal experience.
However, any parent knows that the best teacher is example. I saw a picture just yesterday where the caption said "Children will follow your example, not your advice". How true that is! We can talk until we are blue in the face and tell our children all the things they need to be doing for a happy life, but if we are not doing it as their parents, they will not do it either. They will do as we do. If we are not living the Word of Wisdom, our children will most likely not live it either. To be effective teachers, we have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. That is the way to give our children the best chance at successfully navigating this life of snares and spiritual pitfalls. Until tomorrow.