The writer continues speaking of wisdom and godly advice for the Christian life. However, at verse 17 in chapter 22, the format of the book changes. From that point through chapter 24, there is a listing of imperatives, warning, or giving instruction for the Christian life.
Let's take a moment this morning to think on the subject of children and their upbringing. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Also, note Proverbs 22:15, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."
One of the most sacred responsibilities we have is the rearing and training of our children. God has placed this burden upon parents. We want to blame the poor behaviour of children, and bad choices of young adults upon the children and young adults who do such. And they are responsible, yet parents also play a huge role in the development of their children. It is obvious from these verses. I want to deal with verse 15 first, then go to verse six.
Proverbs 22:15, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Notice the reality, then the recipe. Foolishness is something bound in the heart of a child. That isn't derogatory, it is simply the truth. Children are not born with the mental capacity, nor the reasoning ability that an informed adult possesses. The Bible clearly teaches corporal punishment—spanking. It will, little by little, remove foolishness from a child. Failure to spank a child will rather allow foolishness to grow in his heart.
Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Here we come to a general principle found in God's Word. The idea found in the phrase "the way he should go" is also rendered commandment. If we bring up our children to live according to God's commandments, then we will have trained them in the way they should go. When a child who is properly trained he or she is more likely to continue in God's way and not depart from it. Where Christian parents frequently fail in training their children is inconsistency. They train them partially in the way they should go, but are inconsistent therein. They often don’t practice what they preach. They tell their children that God is most important in life, but then skip church to go fishing. They teach their children to do what is right but then fight with each other. They teach their children that the world is evil, but then flirt with the world’s entertainment. They teach their children to be faithful to the things of God but then are not consistent in faithfulness themselves. When Christian parents train their children to do right consistently and then live what they have taught consistently before them, their children will most likely continue in the way they were taught.
Take time and invest in training your children. You'll be glad you did. Also, please be in prayer for our revival meetings, April 22-26. Thanks!
Your Friend and HIS,