Declawing “he will not depart”

  • Mark 7:13 “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” 
  • Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Over the years, sports fans have complained about the softening of sports. Over time, various sports like football, baseball, and basketball have had so many rule changes that much of the challenge of the sport has been removed. Some have gone so far as to give kids trophies even when they lose. “What is the purpose of competing anymore?”, people have lamented. 

Well, the same thing has happened over time to Proverbs 22:6. Many haven’t liked the conviction of the verse so they have essentially “declawed” the verse. As Jesus rebuked the so-called religious leaders of His day in Mk. 7:13, we have made “the word of God of none effect”. 

How have we declawed Prov. 22:6 and made it of none effect? Well, let me ask you a question: What is Proverbs 22:6? Is it a command? An exhortation? A reproof? What kind of verse is Proverbs 22:6? Why did God speak it and preserve it? The answer: Prov. 22:6 is an encouraging promise. Look at the verse again. The whole reason for the verse’s existence is to emphasize that proper training will lead to godly offspring not departing from that training (he will not depart). 

Now, in passages like Romans 4:14 and Galatians 3:17, we see how the enemy loves specifically making God’s promises of none effect. Why? If Satan and the world can destroy God’s promises, they can essentially destroy faith and hope. (Again Romans 4:14 “faith is made void”) Our faith, though, is our victory (I Jn. 5:4) so no faith results in no victory. In other words, if the enemy can “declaw” God’s Proverbs 22:6 promise and cause your faith in its teaching to be destroyed, the enemy will ultimately get to your offspring. And we see this everywhere in Christianity as there is a pandemic of believers doubting Prov. 22:6 and of their offspring ultimately rejecting more of God’s teachings than just Prov. 22:6. 

Think about this: our personal experiences, preferences, and opinions have made Prov. 22:6 of none effect. How? Let me ask you again: what is Prov. 22:6? It is an encouraging promise. Let’s say for a moment that we accept the common misinterpretation of Prov. 22:6 which is, “when your child leaves the house, he/she may or may not follow their godly parents’ biblical teachings, and when that child is an old man/woman, he/she may or may not come back to the training he/she has forsaken in their younger life”. Now, that is what most believers accept today. I am not trying to be snide or mean in any way, but what is that exactly? It isn’t Proverbs 22:6 and it definitely isn’t a promise anymore. You have literally “declawed” the verse and made Prov. 22:6 of “none effect”. With that kind of interpretation, the verse has no reason for its existence in scripture anymore! No, my dear reader, God meant what He said, and although it may be very hard to swallow, Proverbs 22:6 is an adamant promise of victorious parenting. Do not accept any interpretation that “waters down” or “declaws” its power!