“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
I am from a culture where, as a child, I often heard “Train up a child in the way he should go.” Usually I would hear the verse right before I was disciplined for getting into some mischief. To my childish ears, it seemed to indicate that I needed training – and lots of it. It was not a favorite verse, yet I could quote it verbatim.
In my mind, I was a good child who didn’t require much discipline. I thought there was an obvious disconnect between the intention of this verse and its application.
When I became a parent, I vowed that I would do better than my parents and not quote this verse as a behavioral corrective to my children. But when a child of mine misbehaved, I found myself thinking about it as I punished my child. I knew the verse had to be about more than discipline. As I started to mull over this verse, I saw the intent behind it.
This verse is instrumental in laying a foundation, but it was never meant to be bandied about like a threat because Colossians 3:21 cautions parents not to provoke their children to wrath, lest they become discouraged.
Here are 7 things you should know about this popular parenting verse.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock/monkeybusinessimages