Proverbs 22:6 (NASB95) states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Many of us have known this verse from our childhood. But what does it mean? Some take this verse to mean that if you teach your child right from wrong; you have done your job. Teaching kids good moral values can be a good thing. But is it the heart of what this verse is talking about? I don’t think so.
When looking at this verse through the lens of the New Covenant, I believe that “training up a child in the way he should go” means that we are to use every means we have to encourage our children to have a strong, growing relationship with God through Jesus. When we nurture, encourage, and teach them how to develop their relationship with God, the last part of the verse can be accomplished – “when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The best way parents can train their children is to “live out” their personal relationship with Christ in front of their kids. Kids seeing their parents reading the Bible, praying, giving, and trusting God for everything has a powerful impact on children. A lot of what being Christian is all about is more “caught” than “taught.” Don’t get me wrong, teaching your children the right things is important, but what they see lived out has a greater long term impact on them. Your kids will “catch” whatever you live out in front of them; whether it’s following Christ or living by your own strength and power.
Parents, how is your walk with the Lord? Want godly kids? I encourage you to grow your walk with the Lord. You don’t have to be perfect but you do have to have a transparent with them. Children respect parents who are surrendered to God.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.