3.2 Train Up a Child

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
 Proverbs 22:6, NKJV

Today’s devotional centers upon one of the most well-known verses of the Bible and probably one of the most frequently quoted by many parents.  It tends to be a “rope to hope” when children grow up and go astray from their faith. Parents cling to the hope that if their children go astray, this verse guarantees that they will eventually return to God.

While there are some truths within this interpretation, Proverbs 22:6 is less of a “warranty” or “guarantee” of our children’s lifelong faithfulness to God and more of an instruction from God to parents of HOW to raise our children in a way that helps them live lives of faith, great fulfillment, and joy!

The Amplified version of Proverbs 22:6 states: “Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” A good definition of train means to teach and to make prepared. This verse directs parents to teach the children, to make sure they are prepared to follow God’s plans, and to help aim them in the right direction. The right direction means the one that is IN KEEPING WITH HIS OR HER INDIVDUAL GIFTS OR BENT that GOD has given them!

Parents can seek to know and understand the unique gifts and God-given bent of their children by, first, asking God to show them the individual uniqueness of their child(ren). Asking God to reveal to us what He already knows about them can be insightful and helps us better see who our children really are. Second, we need to help our children grow in those areas of giftedness through praise and aligning them with right opportunities. Finally, we need to help our children make decisions that strengthen those areas. Training up our children in the way they should go means taking the time to hear from God and partnering with Him in the training of our children.

Prayer: Father, I understand that You have made our children in your image and that you have great plans for their lives! Please help me see the gifts you have given them and give me your wisdom to teach them to use those gifts to accomplish your plans for their lives.

Commitment: I recognize that God made each of my children and grandchildren unique individuals, and He has a specific bend, or direction, He wants them to go. I will partner with Him, allowing Him to lead me as a parent/grandparent.

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