Scripture tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go….” But what does that mean? Look at how to train up a child for Jesus.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. (ESV)
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (KJV)
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he grows older he will not abandon it. (NASB)
Train Up a Child
Most Christian parents have heard Proverbs 22:6, haven’t we? But what does it really mean to “train up a child in the way he should go”? And what does it mean that he (or she) will not depart from it?
It’s important to remember the genre the book of Proverbs falls into. Proverbs is a wisdom, or poetic, book. This means that the book is filled with general truths rather than specific promises. That means that we should receive this biblical truth the way the author intends it–as something which is generally true.
Our mandate is to train up our children in the way they should go. What is generally true is that when they are old, they will not depart from the way they have been trained to follow. That’s good news!
But what does it mean to “train up a child”? And, what is “the way he should go”?
What does it mean to train up a child in the way he should go?
Check out this video, in which I spend time talking about what it means to train up a child in the way he should go!
(Find more videos on teaching the Bible to your kids over at my YouTube channel!)
Training Up a Child
The word train means to dedicate or initiate.
The way is a right moral orientation. Also the Way was the name used in the book of Acts for the Church — the Body of Jesus Christ.
But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. – Acts 24:14-15, ESV
As parents, it’s our job–given to us by God–to raise up our children to follow Jesus. We are to initiate our kids in the way of the Lord.
We do this by reading and studying Scripture. We help our kids learn and love the Bible because the Bible is God’s Word to us!
How to Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
So how do we train up a child in the way he should go?
In Romans 10:13-15 (ESV), Paul tells us:
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Later, in verse 17, he says:
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
We train up our kids in the way they should go by bringing them to the Word of God. We teach our children what the Bible says. We read God’s Word aloud so our kids can hear the word of Christ.
After all, faith comes from hearing. That’s truly what we want for our kids, right? We want them to have a vibrant faith in the One True God.
Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible
You want your kids to learn and love the Bible.
You want to teach the Bible…
As parents, we deeply desire the best for our kids. We look for the right schools, we make them eat right and exercise, and we get them involved in extracurricular activities. We take our job as parents seriously.
But are we also putting our time and energy into
teaching them the Bible? Giving them the life-changing, soul-nourishing words of Scripture is not only doable, it’s an essential part of parenting kids for Jesus. And the good news is, studying God’s Word as a family doesn’t have to be difficult!
2 Timothy 2:15, ESV, says:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Our job, as parents who love Jesus, is to help our kids become approved workers, unashamed and rightly handling the word of truth.
The good news? Teaching the Bible isn’t hard. Your family can learn the Bible together.
…and you can!
A Crash Course in Teaching the Bible to Your Kids
Danika Cooley’s book, Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible, will give you the tools and confidence to study the Bible as a family. It will help you identify and overcome your objections and fears, give you a crash course in what the Bible is all about and how to teach it, and provide the guidance you need to set up a family Bible study habit.
You will finish this book feeling encouraged and empowered to initiate and strengthen your child’s relationship with the Lord through His Word.
Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible will equip you with everything you need to know to teach the Bible to your kids!
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