Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Aims of The Study
To explore the idea of what the Bible means by training our children. What does Proverbs 22:6 actually mean?
· What is a child?
· What is our goal for having children?
· What is the meaning of ‘train’?
· What verses link to Proverbs 22:6?
1. What is the definition of a child?
Child could have two definitions.
a. A person who is young chronologically.
It is a young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age.
b. An immature or irresponsible person
b. A young Christian who is growing up in their faith.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:12 - 14.
2. What is our goal for having children?
a. Faithful children are the fruit of a godly family.
if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. Titus 1:6
b. Through our children the glory of God will be released.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14
C. Children are a special gift from God
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3-5
d. They are a weapon that we release into the world for God
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:4
e. God commanded us to fill the earth.
Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
3. What is the meaning of ‘Train’?
In the Strong's Concordance "Train" only appeared three times, and only once it spoke about training children. It lead me to Proverbs 22:6 and Strong's #2596. The word is chanak (Khaw-nak). Here train means to narrow, to initiate or discipline. Four times it is used to dedicate and once to train up. So Chanak means to initiate, inaugurate and to dedicate and was used in reference to the alter, the house of the Lord, the rebuilt temple, Jerusalem’s wall and Nebuchadnezzar’s image.
When looking at the Webster’s online dictionary, the words initiate, inaugurate and dedicate mean: -
a. Initiate – both used as a verb and a noun
· It is a verb that can mean to start or cause it to happen, when you initiate something you introduce them to a particular skill or type of knowledge and teach them about it or we initiate someone into a group, normally using a ceremony where they learn the group’s special knowledge or customs.
· As a noun, an initiate is a person who has been accepted by a particular group and have been taught its secrets and skills.
b. Inaugurate – A verb
· When a new leader or building is inaugurated they are formally given their new position in an official ceremony.
· When you inaugurate a new system or service you start it.
c. Dedicate – A Verb.
· To devote something wholly to a special purpose or cause. It is a commitment which is wholeheartedly or unreserved.
· To assign something for a particular project or function
· To set apart for a sacred use.
4. What Bible verses link to Proverbs 22:6?
a. Salvation and a relationship with Jesus is central.
The most important thing for our children is salvation and a deep relationship with Jesus. Training them to know God's Word brings our children both to salvation and gives them wisdom.
2 Timothy 3:15 - And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ.
b. The process is about encouraging and building up our children in the Lord.
As parents we need to ensure we encourage and build up our children intentionally.
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord Ephesians 6:4
Fathers do not provoke your children, less they become discouraged. Colossians 3:21
c. There is blessing in training our children up in the LORD.
The training up of our children in the LORD brings blessing on our children and grandchildren. It allows God to bring the blessing He has promised on our family.
-For I (GOD) have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him. (Context - Just before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah) It is opposite of a curse coming on a family. Genesis 18:19
d. Their feet will be restrained from evil as they learn to keep God's Word.
They will hate every way that is not God's way. This will save you many dramas in old age.
I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word.
104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore, I hate every false way. Psalm 119:101
e. We train them and release them to be all God has made them to be and achieve what God has for them in their lives.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1: 5-6
f. We should teach about God in everything we do.
We are expected to be teaching our children about God in everything we do, not just at church, at Bible study and devotions. Learning about God happens in everything they do. Learning about God should be a natural daily process.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:6,7
g. Teaching them the scriptures brings them to love God's law.
Having a love for scriptures and sharing as a natural part of all you do can promote a love for scriptures.
Oh, how I love Your law! 'It is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119: 97
How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119: 103
h. We need to teach thankfulness to our children
We need to diligently work to learn and remember what God has done in our lives and has taught us and keep this in our hearts and constantly speak about this to our children. Then our children will learn from God all their days and we will not stray.
Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, less you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren. 'especially concerning' the day you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may reach their children. (Moses commanding Israel - Beware of idolatry) Deuteronomy 4:9,10
i. Being trained will lead to wisdom and understanding
Through being trained, our children will be given understanding so they will be wise, behave wisely, will understand and will be instructed. Our children will have enemies that will seek to destroy them and take them away from their relationship with Jesus. We are able to be wiser than our enemies through knowing the scriptures.
You, through your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. Psalm 119: 98.
j. Your children will be able to think with wisdom.
They will be able to think intelligently using a process that includes observation, pondering, reasoning, learning and reaching the best conclusion. This will lead to a deep understanding.
I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. Psalm 119:99.
15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15
In the Word Wealth, Understanding in Greek is (Sachal (Sah-chahl)): Strong's #7919. It means to be wise, behave wisely; to understand, be instructed; to wisely consider; to be prudent and intelligent. Sachal describes the complex, intelligent thinking process that occurs when one observes, ponders, reasons, learns and reaches a conclusion. The word is occasionally translated 'prosper'. In 1 Kings 2:3 David urged Solomon to be obedient to God's instructions so that he could prosper (Literally, do wisely) in everything he undertook.
k. We want God to speak to our children
As they learn God's Word they will be able to have God speak to them and be led by the Holy Spirit. This starts through learning God's Word and then allowing God to speak to us through His Word. There are two meanings to the ‘word’:-
· Logos Word - Greek 3056. Talks about an expression of thought or a Personal Word (title of the Son of God). Can refer to individual scripture.
· Rhema Word - 4487 - The individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need. To do this we need to store the scripture in our minds.
l. They will not have to learn by experience
They will know and understand more than those of an old age who have had to learn by experience. They will have been taught by God.
I understand more that the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. Psalm 119: 100
Word Wealth 119:100 - Ancients - Their experience has given them wisdom, but the psalmist has been schooled by the lord to such a degree that he knows much more than the old men know. Young and old should equally hear from God in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28)
j. They will be led to be taught by God and so will not depart from what God has said.
I have not departed from your judgements, For you Yourself have taught me. Psalm 119:102
k. Hearing God’s Word and voice is essential for success in life
We all need help getting through life. God's Word and His voice guide us clearly both daily and in our long term plans. They will be intentional in the way they live.
Your word is a lamp to my feed and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
Word Wealth -We are all too inexperienced in too much of life to be without a guide. God's Word is that guide. God's Word gives direction to our every step and to long term plans. Joshua links the regular application of God's Word to life as the most certain way to both success and prosperity in living. (Josh 1:8) Proverbs 6:23 reminds us that the 'reproofs' or corrections the Bible gives are as much a part of the 'light' it provides as any positive or confirming direction we find therein. Let God's Word guide, correct, instruct, lead, teach and confirm. Do not hasten ahead without it - ever.
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, Ephesians 4:14
Our children need to know where they are heading and are clear in the right doctrine, not being deceived by anyone. Their path is determined by the Holy Spirit through the Apostolic Doctrine as they grow and mature in Christ.
l. Those who are sons are disciplined by God. We raise our children up to embrace discipline from God and our parents as an important part of our growth into 'sonship' and maturity.
Hebrews 12:3-11 talks about God disciplining us as all sons are disciplined / chastened by their father. If we are not chastened, then we cannot call ourselves sons.
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? Hebrews 2:7
m. Training our children is an exciting adventure.
In Psalm 1 we are reminded about the benefits on delighting in the law of the Lord.
2.But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law, he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1: 2-3
n. Building our children up in the faith is essential so they will not fall away.
In Matthew 13 Jesus gives a parable of the sower and speaks about how the seed (The Word) can grow in our lives.
V.4. Seeds that fell by the wayside and birds came and devoured them. If they hear the Word of this Kingdom and do not understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. They must understand what is being taught.
V.4 - 6. The wayside – hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has not root in himself and endures only for a while. When tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
V.7. Thorns that sprung up and choked them. They hear the word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke he word and he becomes unfruitful.
V.8. Seed that falls on good ground and yields a good crop (100 fold, 60 fold and 30 fold) v.23. They hear the word, understand it and bear fruit. Matthew 13: 4-8
We have an important role as parents to train up our children in the LORD.
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Our role as parents is to both teach our children and to help our children really understand what they are being taught from the Bible. This is so they can be strong in their faith in God so tribulation will not cause them to fall away due to things the world brings. They are able to keep their eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and bear much fruit.
Our pray is that our children become trees of righteousness. God plants them by the rivers of water that when they are firmly establish they bring forth fruit in season. They will prosper in all they do as they are led by God. They will remain strong in their faith and will not fall away for any reason and will bear much fruit.
Training is so much more than us just memorizing a scripture, going to Church and at times reading the Bible. In Luke 6: 40 we are reminded that ' A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. It is being challenged to develop a lifestyle where we live our faith and express it in all we do.
Training children in the Lord is a 'vital spiritual education that brings a child into definite, real, spiritual experience'. (Stanley Horton) is a very intentional lifestyle that starts with the parents learning how to read God's Word (Logos), memorise the scriptures and then allow God to speak through them to (Rhema) and learning to love the scriptures. Only then can we train our children in doing this themselves. By raising our children in God both they and their children can be blessed. They can be wiser than their enemies, know how to think through challenging things, will not depart from what God has said and will be on a lifetime journey where they love to listen to and follow God. As they listen to God they will not have to learn from experience and so will be wiser than people much older than them. Their short and long-term plans will be successful as they journey with God. Remember the three key words.
Initiate - start or cause to happen. Cause your children to learn God's Word, His way and learn about Him through everything that they do.
Inaugurate - start, set up your children in the position that they have. First in Christ and then the good works He has set for them (Ephesians 2;10)
Dedicate - To devote both yourself and your children to live wholly for God, learning to understand His Word, to listen to Him and live a life under God's rule and reign.