By Pastor Murray
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV)
This verse is well known, and it is good for every parent, grandparent and every child to know it and remember it. This includes adult children.
Children need training. The common view these days seems to be that children should be left free to make up their own minds about right and wrong, but it is the responsibility of parents to train them up so that they know the difference.
We are called on to not only train up a child, but it is to be in the way he should go.
The word translated train also means to dedicate. Each child is to be dedicated and committed to the Lord. We have the example of Samuel – he was committed by his mother to serve the Lord (1 Samuel 1:28). That is the first step in training – to commit the child to the Lord and that is often done publicly, invoking the support of the Christian community.
The child is then nursed, taught and disciplined as God’s child.
What defines the way he should go? How does any person with responsibly for training know the way he should go? There are many different views on this subject, and it is vital that we have the correct answer to this question. As with all other wisdom, the source of understanding in the education of our children is the Word of God.
The sense of the Hebrew is that the way he should go speaks of the child’s individual way and inclination. It speaks of discerning a child’s strengths and weaknesses and parenting in a way that takes those into account. (David Guzik).
What are the child’s aptitudes, interests, skills? This can be a guide as to how the training could be directed. Part of the challenge of course is to discover what these are abilities are and this will act as a guide as to the way he should go.
When we are training our children (and grandchildren) we also need to warn them of the consequences of not following the wisdom of the Lord. If they follow this contrasting path, it leads to thorns and snares (v5)
Remember the words of Paul. We are to bring up our children in the training and admonition of the Lord. The key to success in training a child is that the child be taught to honour and respect the Lord, and to follow His direction throughout his life.
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, NKJV)
We are promised that if we as parents and grandparents are faithful in this training, then when he is old he will not depart from it. When our children are older, perhaps adults, we sometimes see them stray from the training they have received. God is faithful to fulfill His promises, so let us remind the Lord of this promise as we pray for our children. Note that the Lord will not violate the free will of our children – He will allow them to make their own moral choices.
We are to pray and not interfere. Remind the Lord of His promises and give Him room to bring conviction on our children so that they return to what they have been taught.
May God’s richest blessings be with you, with those in your bubble and with those you would like to have in your bubble.