Proverbs 22:6 (King James Version)
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it
Raise your children in the riches of the lord in the way that is good and respectful in God’s eyes then when he is grown he shall not forget and depart from it but live by truth
“A good name is better than riches—Train up a child in the way he should go. … 6 aTrain up a bchild in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
What Does Proverbs 22:6 Mean? ►
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
While many regard this proverb as a precious promise, others consider it a severe warning – but all would be wise to recognize the godly principle on which this word of wisdom is founded.
Children are a gift from God and to dedicate time and patience in the child-training process is the right, responsibility and joy of all parents. All children are born with a propensity towards evil and training infants and young people in godly conduct, wise choices and appropriate accountability for their actions and attitude.. it a God-given, tool – to help set a child in the right direction for their life.
But (for the Christian parent) appropriate training: vocationally, morally, intellectually, musically, educationally, spiritually or simply encouraging the development of deportment or the promotion of individual gifts and talents.. should always be founded on the Word of God, bathed in daily prayer – as day by day they seek to set an example of right living and of godly conduct.
What Does it Mean to Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go?
“Train up a child in the way he should go;
Even when he is old he will not depart from it”
What a seemingly simple, but overwhelmingly complicated verse! It’s one of the most quoted – and often misquoted – verses in the Bible (Proverbs 22:6).
People often use this verse as a guarantee that if you raise your children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4), they’ll always stay on the right path. That interpretation can be problematic, particularly for the “good parents” I know who have seen their older children stray from the faith. We all know that we can try our best, and sometimes the results are different than we would have hoped. God has given us free will to make our own choices, after all.
Another view of Proverbs 22:6 is that the writer was saying the exact opposite. It’s not a guarantee for parents, but rather a warning. Dr. Douglas Stuart from Gordon Theological Seminary holds this view citing many notable scholars. According to Stuart, the difference comes from the addition of the word “should” in the English translations, something that’s not supported in the original Hebrew. Without the “should” the nature of the verse changes. It’s more about allowing your children to go their own way, not the way they “should” go. In this view, the reading would be more like “Train up a child in his own way, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” That certainly changes things, doesn’t it?
Dave Miller from SBC Voices says it this way: “This is not a promise to parents who raise their children properly but a warning to those who allow their adolescents to grow up without guidance, who raise them to go their own way.” Children left to their own way are not likely to change; they’ll become adults who go their own way… the wrong way. Interestingly, Solomon wrote later in Proverbs 22:15 that “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child.” He obviously recognized that children don’t tend to make the wise choice on their own.
There’s yet another view I’ve heard expressed before regarding Proverbs 22:6. It’s the view that Proverbs 22:6 isn’t as much about the moral or spiritual direction of the child, but rather his or her gifts and talents. It’s about parents helping their children discover their purpose and path in life. Parents are in the unique role of helping children discover how God has equipped them and how they can use their gifts in a positive way as adults.
I’m no theologian or Bible scholar, so I’m not an expert in these matters. I am a parent, however, and I do know that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Regardless of the camp, you may fall in on the interpretation of this complicated verse, I believe there are several important implications we should all be able to agree on.
We have duties as parents not only to discipline ourselves in faith and knowledge of God’s law but also that of our children and our church
For The son of man died to rescue us all from our sins and wrongs we live by he carries my sins far away and one day he is coming and we need the God fearing knowledge for that glorious day we need to be in the image of God ask for God to give you eyes to see ears to hear and mouths to speak truth to open your eyes in discipline and knowledge of truth that he may open your eyes and others including your children you’re the one who influenced children most the relationship between a parent and child is the closest bonded relationship that needs to be bonded just as much In Christ for in him there is bonded love and no goodbyes or abandonment the kids need to experience that through training of the godly and parents
You have a responsibility as a parent.
Throughout Scripture, God is pretty clear about the responsibility He places in the hands of parents. None is more clear than Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
As I’ve written before, we have a responsibility as parents to teach our children what matters to God. It doesn’t mean forcing them into a certain set of beliefs or rituals; rather, it means demonstrating a real faith – one that puts the focus on loving God and loving others. In my view, there’s not a greater purpose we can have in life than reflecting God’s image for our children to see.
Our children are going to learn about the world around them and their role in it. If they don’t learn from us, they will learn from someone else. It’s our responsibility to use our time with our kids wisely.
You have influence as a parent.
Children are sponges. And, my kids seem to soak up everything – good and bad. They often mimic the mannerisms of my wife and me. They’ll do and say the same things we do from time to time. And I can certainly tell who my daughter has been hanging out with by the phrases she says or the songs she sings.
When writing to the Ephesians, Paul encourages the church to be “imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). That encourages me and reminds me of how I’m supposed to live and love. But, it also reminds me that my children are in my care and looking for my example. Our children often imitate us. They learn how to act by seeing how we act. They’ll only know how to love by seeing how we love. If they are imitating us, and we are imitating God, our child will grow up knowing what it means to follow Christ.
I’ve often thought about it this way: the moon reflects light from the sun. It’s not a big mirror in the sky reflecting the sun exactly, or else the light from the moon and sun would be the same. When the moon is full, it looks quite bright. But, even at its brightest, it reflects less than 20 percent of the sun’s light. That was the intention… for the moon to be the “lesser light.”
Just as the moon reflects the sun, as a Christian, I should reflect the Son. We were made in God’s image, but we are not perfect like Him. We are works in progress. As we grow closer to Him, there should be some family resemblance between us and our Father. The things I say and do should be characteristic of Him. And, here’s why that’s important. If I truly reflect Him and shine His glory, others will, including my children. “Let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
You will have results – either good or bad – as a parent.
Whether you interpret Proverbs 22:6 as a promise for raising your kids “in the Lord” or a warning about not doing so, there’s one thing we know: what you do as a parent matters and it will lead to results. Our children are going to become adults, whether we want them to grow up or not!
I recently went through an excellent study of the book of Ephesians from J.D. Greear. In the study, he talks about how God uses common relationships – marriage, family, work – as “laboratories” to make us more like Himself. “Paul describes one of these laboratories as the family, where children learn to obey God by obeying their parents,” he says. “When we are young, our parents represent the authority of God to us. In a way, they stand in for God for a time. We first learn to obey and submit to God by obeying and submitting to our parents.”
As a parent I can go the distance and have a healers heart