Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it”
This is one of those scriptures I struggled to understand having observed what happens in homes including ours. One thing that bothered me was seeing children from even Christian homes go astray, walk away from God and go their way. They were raised going to church, in the word, parents prayed for them and this is what they turned out to become?
How is this verse then applicable when it suggests that if you train the child the way he should go, HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM THE TEACHING? Already it appears they are departing according to these statistics “88% of children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18 never to return.” That is an alarming rate. Having studied this verse, the Lord would have me understand it this way, “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, however hard he may try to run away from the teaching, it will always be present with him, he cannot depart from it”. Whatever he was taught or observed at home will not depart from him. That is why it’s important that children be invested in. As a parent, you don’t want to suffer the heartache of your children rebelling against their Christian upbringing. While only God can save us and keep us, there are biblical principles you can implement to help prevent your children from tragically falling away from the faith even in their later years in life.
I remember my dad setting the best example for his children and so was mom. I learn more by observing and many of his teachings in my life came from observing his Christian walk. My dad was (is) a prayer warrior, who conquered more devils in his family on his knees. To raise up a big family sometimes making tough decisions had to be done on his knees (praying). I listened to him many times praying for our future (my siblings and I); to be used of God one day, to have godly blessed relationships, to make intelligent decisions, to be successful etc. I learnt what it meant to be in a good respectable relationship by watching him treat his wife (my mom). What I’m I saying, even in my teenage life where the urge to rebel was beginning to creep in, their teachings, their life style could not depart from me. This is why it’s important that parents live an example of grace before their children through worship, reading of the word, praying, relating to each other (husband and wife), and how you train your children. It’s sad when spouses fight before their children, disrespecting each other before their kids. Do everything with dignity, set an example to your children. At times it’s good to show tough love, it may not be popular at the time you are giving it but it will be appreciated later in life. Seeing dads become more responsible at home sets an example to the boys, its key, it’s vital. Who better teach them what it means to work hard, be responsible, have character and integrity than the parents?
I believe this could be a reason to have brought home the prodigal son in Luke 15:17-19, “17 “But when he came to himself, …! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants”. I don’t think only the food and the good life at home would have driven him to go back. Love, support, the teachings he had received would bring him back home. Yes he tried to run away from them all, but they would not. The earlier teachings brought him to himself to revisit how he was raised and how he turned everything into a mess. This brought about the heart of repentance and willing to go back home because regardless of where he had been, and who would not receive him, he knew he had a father who loved him and would be willing to receive him. How did he know, he had learnt it years back. It is a tough job but you and I have a responsibility to train and therefore it starts with us. We cannot teach what we don’t know and are not willing to live. Blessings Ev