Train Up A Child

Train Up A Child

Train Up A Child
Take your children hunting; and you won’t have to go hunting for your children.”

COLUMBUS, OH –-( A while back my wife, Ann, and I were pulling onto the lot of one of our favorite fast “health food” restaurants and saw a gentleman bobbing his silver-templed head up and down behind the bed of his pick-up.

With a puzzled look we stopped and continued watching. It soon became apparent that he was playing that centuries-old game of Peek a Boo with a little guy in his stroller.

That Pap and his grandson were obviously very close. So you’re asking, “How do I become and stay close with my child?”

Try to be best friends? NO. Buy them lots of stuff? NO. Act like a kid? NO. Be the father or mother your child needs? YES.

Sit down with your spouse and talk about the kind of family you desire; then pray to God that He will give you the desires of your heart. If your desire is to love your children for the rest of your days with the same excitement you did at their birth, then resolve together to spend more time with one another than with anyone else.

We can “occasionally” become selfish with our time. Spending “quality time” with someone we love is one of this generation’s biggest excuses for not spending “quantities of time” with our loved ones. A Saturday af-ternoon at the movies cannot replace daily or near daily time playing and working with our children – and spouses. Some believe the other lie that their careers must come before their families – after all (the excuse goes) we are the providers.

I’ve learned that some men have actually found they receive nearly unlimited kitchen passes as long as their kids accompany them?

At a church council meeting our Pastor’s wife made a very simple, BUT POWERFUL, statement. She said, “One of Satan’s most effective tools is keeping us busy.” She said B U S Y N E S S can keep us from the most important activity in our life – spending time with God!

One council member asked, “How can being busy in ministry several evenings a week keep us from spending time with our families and God?” Early in my life my mother was busy at the church several evenings every week with choir practice, class meetings, and helping her friend from the choir take care of others; then one day my dad said we needed her! From that day on she spent more time with us and with God whom she loved.

My wife made a rule shortly after we married. We were each allowed one regular evening per week apart from our family – JUST ONE! I’ve spent hours talking with Wil Graham about ballistics, archery and what it takes to create a Godly family.

His dad Franklin even wrote a book about his experiences growing up the son of the most famous evangelist of modern times. You’ve probably noticed that some of the difficult and unhappy individuals you know are the children of pastors. If you doubt that our time is what our children desire most, then ask them while still under the age of 10 what they would most like to do with you.

Their answer will be PLAY. Once we’ve established that early relationship, we must develop it daily. If we don’t – WE’VE LOST THEM!

I’m convinced that relationship can extend through the difficult teen years and into adult-hood. Early in the spring before my dad went to live for eternity with Howard Hill, Fred Bear and the other great hunters who loved the Lord he said, “What do you want to do today?” I answered, “Let’s go down to our hunting spot in Virginia and check out the deer.”

My dad, my brother, and I played together all of our lives; and our two sons and I began to play together when I handed them their first rubber suction cup bow and arrow on the day they were born! You can see the photos of the mighty archers. God has blessed hunters and fisher-men with a special bond from the beginning. I was once hammered by a bumper sticker that read, “Take your children hunting; and you won’t have to go hunting for your children.”

I know from conversations with many of you that you also have that special bond with your kids. One father told me that his high school senior chose to go to the World Archery Championships with him instead of his big high school dance. Of course, we knew that was just poor scheduling on the part of his school.

Recently two of our FHFH Coordi-nators, Allen Dunlap of Ohio and Jason Boyd of Indiana represented FHFH at the 2011 QDMA National Convention held in Nashville. Allen and his 12 year-old son, Luke, and Jason and his 12 year-old son, Noah, and the rest of their gang spent a bit of time talking with Jeff Foxworthy, a familiar face in both the world of hunting and the world of 5th graders. These families hunt, travel, and play together.


Many of our Coordinators are training the next generation of FHFH leaders in their communities. I know this to be a fact because as I talk with them throughout the year it’s difficult for them to tell me about their latest adventures in hunting and feeding the hungry without bragging about these growing leaders – their kids!
So from whom did we as parents and grandparents receive this desire to be a close family? For many it’s written on our hearts.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 The answer can be found in Mark 9:33.

Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) is an outreach ministry of the people of God called upon to feed venison to the hungry among us nationwide. Visit