Lots of parents quote this verse as a guarantee that their kids will eventually turn around and come back to the Lord. The problem with many is that they think “train” means “teach” or “expose.” so if they faithfully take them to church, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and “expose” them to the Bible or they teach them the stories in the Bible at home that they have met their part of the deal. The problem is the word is train, a very proactive word that means much more than give information to. Let’s pretend that God has said that if you want your kids to be very successful in life and to go to heaven when they die that they must play Beethoven’s No. 29 B flat major without a mistake. As a parent, what would you do? You would teach and then they would practice, you would teach and they would practice, you would teach and they would practice, and when they got ahead of you, you would find someone else to teach and continue the cycle. That is called training, and that is what Proverbs 22:6 says to do “Train.” Training assumes a plan or strategy, it assumes practice and evaluation, it assumes a goal or target. Kids that hit 18 years of age who have not been we’ll trained, well parented have a significant disadvantage in life.
Most parents assume that because they are parents, they somehow have the knowledge and wisdom to be good parents. They may be good parents, loving parents, but they probably aren’t good trainers, good coaches. What parents need to do is get trained themselves on how to do Proverbs 22:6 effectively. Most parents don’t get training because of the time required, and they won’t know that they needed to get training until it is too late for their kid.
When our first child was born Patty, and I went to several seminars a year on parenting. We bought dozens of books on parenting and read and discussed them. We drove hundreds of miles to get personal counseling on parenting from a Dad of 12 of the best behaved, most disciplined, and amazingly talented family of kids I had ever seen. He gave us 15 minutes a week for three months, and we drove into Portland, a 90-minute drive each week to get it.
I am going to teach a class at JBC on “training our kids” on Sunday mornings at 10:15 am until 11:15 am starting April 11th until June 6th.