Summary: The concept of Training is not corporal punishment but 3 main ideas are involved here. (a) Dedication (b) Instruction and (c) Motivation.
Introduction: What are you investing in today? Is it houses, bank balances, stock etc.!
In verse 6 we see 2 ingredients in the prescription to rear children.
• Train up a child ………..
• When he is old ………...
The command of God involves 3 parts:-
1. The concept of Training [‘Train up’] – It is not corporal punishment but 3 main ideas are involved here.
(a) Dedication - A child’s training is solely dedicated to God Himself. Parents must realize that their child apparently belongs to God and has been given to them for his / her time on earth so that they can take care of him / her in a Christ-like manner.
(b) Instruction - According to Jewish family training process, parents are strictly instructed to cause their children to learn and do everything that pleases God.
© Motivation - The Arabic meaning here is a mid-wife’s action stimulating the palate of the new born. Parents are to create a taste or desire within the child so that he is internally motivated to do what God wants him to do.
2. The recipient of training [‘A Child’] = The Hebrew translation means ‘dependent.’ As long as the child is dependent on his / her parents he / she is the recipient of training – regardless of his / her age.
3. The content of training [‘In the way that he should go’] – The thought is that at each stage of his development, the parents are to dedicate, instruct and motivate their child to do what God wants him to do for God.
We can illustrate this graphically as to what Joshua says in Joshua 24: 15. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Conclusion: The second part of verse 6 refers to when a child is no longer economically dependent upon his / her parents; he will do whatever the parents have instructed and invested in him / her. Rearing children is not an overnight occurrence. It takes careful thought, wisdom and obedience to God on the part of the parents.