“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Pro. 22:6
The Wisdom needed to raise children is serious and not to be ignored – but it is ignored.
“Train up” – “The verb translated “train” (chanak) means, first, “to put something into the mouth,” “to give to be tasted,” as nurses give to infants food which they have masticated in order to prepare it for their nurslings; thence it comes to signify “to give elementary instruction,” “to imbue,” “to train.” The Hebrew literally is, Initiate a child in accordance with his way.” – Pulpit Commentary.
- I have something to say on this which is gross to my children. They used to love eating the chewy meat that I first chomped a little on so that it was easier for them to eat. Yep, it was biblical and I knew it.
- Ewww? No problem, but let’s be careful that we don’t dismiss what God is saying. You have to train your children to eat good food. You have to train your children to walk and to walk in righteousness.
“The way he should go” –
- Many have ideas about what this verse means – “it’s just a general principle, no guarantee.”
- The problem I have with many who say this is that they never really tried to train “in the way he should go.” “Training” is not chasing the world and sacrificing everything to have all the world can offer and then for an hour on Sunday “going to church”.
- Parents spend so much time “training” their children in gymnastics and mathematics and other things that are good, and they see the fruit of the effort. But these same parents think it silly for their children to have homework in the Bible class or unnecessary to spend any time in memorizing God’s Word.
- So when no real effort is put into training, you cannot be an expert on what is possible.
“He will not depart from it” – Something imprinted on the heart through years of godly parenting is something that sticks for life.
- People do depart. In the end, people have free will. But that does not mean the parents did not do something to be partly responsible. Sure, no one is perfect, but isn’t that my point? Yes. You are not perfect. And some are less perfect than others.
- Instead of looking for a way to soothe the conscience, take responsibility and strive to do the very best we can to bring our children to be blessed by Jesus.
- “Do not hinder them from coming to Me”, said Jesus. There is a lot of hindering going on. The hindering is done by the world, for sure. But the biggest hinderers are those who are the closest and most responsible for the welfare of the children.
- Do we shout “Ra ra rah” on Sunday with the game, but have closed mouth when it comes to praying with and talking to our children about spiritual matters? Do we tell our children that God is vastly more important than a sport? We have to be thinking about what we make the most important in our children’s eyes. Why? Because they will not depart from what we train them to value.