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Verse of the Day

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Application

"Train up a child..."
This proverb is a command to parents, emphasizing how to raise children. The Hebrew word (khanakh/hanok) has been translated as "train up". However this Hebrew word is used only 4 other times in scripture-all of which refer to dedicating an object to the Lord, setting aside the object for a sacred purpose. Therefore, we should train up our children, as if we are training them for the Lord. This places an even greater emphasis on the responsibiity of parents in child rearing.

"...in the way he should go..."
There are two very popular translations for this phrase. Some scholars believe this Hebrew phrase (al-pi darko) should be translated "according to his tenor" or "according to his destiny". How does one determine the destiny of his child? God has given us clues. Those clues are the natural talents, abilities and potential that He has placed in our children. It is the job of parents to study their children. Those natural talents and abilities you see in your children reveal the paths God has predetermined for them. Note what abilities your children possess, then lead and encourage them to use those gifts. How sad that some parents push their children into a course of study for the simple reason of following in their footsteps. Friends, God wants your child to travel in His paths not your footsteps.

Other scholars believe that "in the way he should go" refers to the "the way" often occuring in scripture. The Book of Proverbs speaks of only two ways: The way of the wise and righteous OR the way of the foolish and wicked, implying a standard in life. Yes, this is God's standard, that we would walk in His ways, for His ways are wise and righteous.(see Prov 4:11,14,19, Prov 6:23, Prov 12:28, Prov 15:9, Psalm 119:1, Acts 18:25, John 14:6-7)

"...and when his is old, he will not depart from it."
This verse does not suggest that no one can fall away. We all know of instances in which two siblings were raised with equal training; one grows up and remains faithful to those values while the other rejects them. Therein every person lies free will. But what this proverb does suggest and what scholars believe Solomon meant is that if a child has received proper training AND if that child continues in that training through hood, then when he is old he is unlikely to abandon the values that have been proven profitable and wise to him. Our job as parents is to lead our children in the ways of the Lord to the gate that leads to Christ as Savior. It is our child's choice whether they will walk through that gate.