Training Wheels

“Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” (Proverbs 19:18)

When our kids learned to ride bikes, they were chaos on wheels. They swerved right. They swerved left. Starting required a curb. Stopping involved first aid.

They needed practice, so we started with training wheels. Then, we went to the local track and challenged them to stay in a lane. The lines marked a boundary and helped them control their body and their bike. Soon, they could ride, turn, and stop on a dime–without the need of the first aid kit.

Learning to maneuver through the challenges of life requires some practice too. Family rules and their consequences, chores, and the giving and losing of privileges provide training wheels and lane lines so kids progress to the sidewalks and streets of life’s neighborhood. These help kids master their wills to gain the self-control they need.

Bike accidents are ugly. I know. Yet, life’s accidents leave far more than scars and the memory of eight weeks in a cast. According to God, not to provide discipline is to be a willing party to a child’s death.

Kids, don’t fight the training wheels. Allow Mom and Dad to help you develop the self-control you need. Trust them.

Parents, keep at it. The harvest is coming.


How did you learn to ride a bike? What safeguards did you have?

Tell me about your present level of cycling? Are there higher levels?

Now, examine your spiritual training. What safeguards have your parents put in place?

What could happen if those safeguards were removed before you were ready? How can you master a skill, like time management, so the safeguard’s removal is appropriate?

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