Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
In my early teens, I really liked a game of military conquest called “Risk.” However, it did not like me! My methodical brain had a clear cut plan as to where I would go and who I would fight. In all my years of playing that game, I have only won once! I blame it on the dice. I will take my 3 dice to my opponents 1 or 2 dice and attack. No matter what, whether I’m on the offense or defense, my dice always roll low numbers. Praise the Lord, though, the Christian life is not a game of chance. Every command God gives in Scripture, He also lays out a guaranteed result. Like the classic passage on revival, II Chronicles 7:14, God says, “If” we will do certain things, “then” He will answer us and reward us. The same goes for parenting.
Our loving God leaves promises to parents throughout His Word. And Proverbs 22:6 is no exception. If a parent trains their children correctly, their children will not leave that deeply instilled training. However, many seem to take what I call a “Calvinistic Parenting” approach. These types of people say that no matter what a parent does, their child will choose their own path when they grow up. They say or think, “It doesn’t matter if you love your child, your child may wind up simply hating you.” They say or think, “If you spend all of your blood, sweat, tears, energy, and prayers into your children, some of them may still turn out wrong.” Like a simple roll of the die, many seem to think that no matter what you do as a parent, it’s a gamble as to whether children choose the Lord or the devil. Some even imply that it is the providence of God when a child goes to the world and the devil.
This “Calvinistic Parenting” is absolutely and completely contrary to Scripture! The Bible gives very clear and strong promises concerning child rearing. If a parent does exactly what God lays out in His Word, that parent will produce a godly seed.
- – For instance, Proverbs 23:14 promises, “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” If you properly correct your son, God promises that you will deliver his soul from hell.
- – Here’s another: Proverbs 29:17 “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” God promises that with proper discipline your child will give rest. And, God emphasizes that your children will even bring delight. Do your children give you rest? If they do, you’re going the right direction.
- – And one more: Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” God once again promises that Biblical chastening will assuredly drive foolishness from your children. God never intended parenting to be a guessing game. Parenting is not a contest of luck or chance. God has made it very clear that if you properly train your children in the right direction, they “shall” never depart from that training.