“6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it” – Pro. 22:6
Like few other verses, this verse in consistently watered down by Christians. It’s not surprising though if we consider that majority of their children are not following the Lord when they leave home. This is one of the most painful and difficult matters we can address.
Read the articles and hear the comments when this verse is read and you would think this verse means practically nothing in regard to raising our children the right way. The response is usually along the line of, “Children have free will and parents can’t help it if their children are unfaithful.” But that’s not what the Proverb says. Parenting shapes the direction of children. But some reject the responsibility and are in danger of taking away from God’s word.
I have watched many children grow up in the church. I have observed these things with great interest. And the more I know the parents of the children, the more clearly I see how parents do consistently teach their passions. They teach their children fashion. They teach them to get along with the world. They teach them that Christians don’t have to proselytize. They teach the names of Hollywood Actors and words to popular music. And you know what? The children do not depart from these things.
This passage from Proverbs talks about “training”. Training works. It works in the workplace. It works in civic organizations. It works in athletics. It works in rehabilitation centers. It works in college and technical schools. But people dismiss God’s word suggesting that training doesn’t work in the raising of children! Even though parents have control of their children at their most impressionable ages, they want to dismiss the influence of training. That doesn’t fly. Parents to be successful have to stop making excuses and start doing what God said.
But many, maybe even the majority of Christian parents do not passionately instill a righteous faith in their children. They do not passionately teach their children about the living God. They do not uphold the Word of God in their home. And these Christian parents often see their children turn to the world. If we train up a child in the way of the world, in the culture of our day, in the thoughts and attitudes of Hollywood, when they are old they will not depart from it.
God’s Word is true. I have seen a number of examples of truly dedicated Christians who live and breathe their faith. They teach their children with love. They love and honor their wives. They don’t compromise at work. They don’t fill the pulpits or serve as Deacons and project one image and project an entirely different image at home. They discipline their children and guide them to adulthood. I have not ever seen these parents lose their children. That is my experience.