Sunday, August 27, 2017

Proverbs and Training Children

Job 23:1–27:23 
2 Corinthians 1:12–2:11 
Psalm 41:1-13 
Proverbs 22:5-6


Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." 


I want to bring out two points regarding the Verse for Today:

First, it is an encouragement for parents to actively train their children in the way that they should go. Parents cannot simply delegate that responsibility to others - although too many parents are presently shirking their responsibilities.

If your child is to grow up, leave home, and do well in life, it will be in large part due to your training. So, teach them about the Lord and model what it means to follow Jesus. Observe how God has wired your child and point them in the direction that would be best suited for them.

And when they leave home, pray like you've never prayed before. Because your job isn't done yet.

Second, some people treat this verse like it is true all of the time. They suspect that if they train their child in the way that they should go, then our Verse for Today promises that when they are old they won't depart from it.

However, that isn't necessarily true. While the Word of God is truth, we need to be serious student's of the Bible so as to know how to read the various literary styles (genres).

The book of Proverbs is presented as a book of general truths. They are true ... much of the time.

The classic texts that reveal the previous point are:

Proverbs 26:4-5 (ESV):
"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself." 
"Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes." 

If every verse of Proverbs was true all of the time, then the previous two verses would cancel each other out.

But, when we understand that Proverbs is presented as a book of general truths, then we realize that when we read the wisdom found within it, we realize that life tends to happen that way. 

When we arrive back at our Verse for Today, we come to realize that it is generally true that a child will continue in the way that a parent trains him or her. It is a general truth. But, sometimes, godly parents who train their children are heartbroken when that child grows up to rejects their teaching.

But, that's where prayer comes in, parent. Fight on your knees. And don't stop. Pray until they get back on the road to holiness. And then keep praying.

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