To get us started,
turn in your Bible to First Parenting chapter 3. Don’t you wish that were true?
nfortunately the Bible doesn’t have a
chapter on parenting. But it still speaks to the issueparenting in a variety of ways.
Today we’ll be looking in the book of Proverbs.
Here’s another question:
What do you think is the role of a parent?
They cook and clean and pack bags and remind and scold?Or maybe their role is
They make sure their kids are happy by working overtimetrying to please them.Or maybe their role is to be an
. What I mean is that they spend their time trying to maketheir kids successful. So they spend their time taking them to camps, and lessons and giving themevery opportunity they can to advance and position their child for success.Or how about a
The parent feels the need to defend the child...from their spouse, fromtheir siblings, from teachers, etc. They play protector all the time because they are afraid theirchild can stand up for herself.There is something even more fundamental that the Bible says about the role of a parent. Thenumber one role of a parent is to be a
Maybe you’ve heard this verse before.
Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it
. Proverbs 22:6Now, years ago I heard this verse quoted for the wrong reasons. People said this is one of the
promises of God. I was young and single and I didn’t know any better. I thought,
“Cool. God promises to keep my kids on the straight and narrow.”
But now 35 years later I realize that it’s not a promise. God doesn’t guarantee that our kids won’t
go astray. This verse is a
. It is what typically happens. But there are no guarantees. The
reason I’m showing
this verse to you is because I think this verse points to the fact that it tells us
that parents are leaders. The word “way” here impli
. A parent is someonewho leads their child down a path on a journey. A parent helps their child find their way safelyto adulthood.
You see, parents can’t afford to be hands off today. It’s not like fifty years ago when the
community had a common ethic and set of values and a child would more or less end up in agood place. Today, i
f you aren’t actively leading your child down the right path they could end
up any place on the moral, emotional and spiritual map.So parents are leaders not followers. They are active not passive. They are intentional andpurposeful about raising their child.
That’s what the phrase “train up your child” means. It
literally means to
to leading your child down the right path. The picture that
it’s painting here is that children get so used to that path that they won’t want to travel other paths. They’ll travel that path so often with their parents that they’ll see the beauty of it and the
blessing of walking it and they
realize that they would be a fool to wander of that path. Not aguarantee but highly likely.