Train up a Child: What it really means.

The Bible instructs parents to “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). This verse offers tremendous encouragement to anyone raising children.

The primary idea behind the phrase “train up” is to provide a systematic or complete training process. God wants His children to know the Scriptures from childhood. A comprehensive or systematic plan ensures that children achieve balanced growth in Bible knowledge, Christ-like character, and faithful conduct—everything kids need to live as devoted Christ-followers.

4 Key Benefits

Teaching children the truths of Scripture leads to these blessings:

  1. Makes kids wise for salvation (2 Timothy 3:15)
  2. Thoroughly equips them to do good works (2 Timothy 3:17)
  3. Prepares them to respond to those who ask about their hope (1 Peter 3:15)
  4. Readies them to withstand the culture’s onslaught that attempts to indoctrinate and deceive them (Ephesians 6:10-18)

After the Lord freed the Hebrews from slavery, Moses knew that God’s people needed a dramatic paradigm shift regarding parenting. He implores parents to do whatever it takes to train their kids about walking in God’s ways: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).

Why was Moses so concerned that successive generations observe God’s laws? The Lord had promised His people that effective parenting would lead to these wonderful rewards:

  • His people would live safely in the land (Leviticus 25:18)
  • All would go well with them (Deuteronomy 12:28)
  • God would bless them in the land (Deuteronomy 30:16)

Training children to know and obey God is the primary way believers access God’s long-term blessing and rewards—for the family, for the church, and for the whole society.

Spiritual development starts now. As Dr. Scott Turansky says, “Talking to your baby, singing worship songs, and even telling Bible stories is an excellent way to begin good habits of spiritual interaction. Be sure to pray for and with your baby often.” You may want to review our nursery curriculum for infants and toddlers. For children ages 3-5, a complete Bible learning system can help kids grow in Christ-like character.

As your baby grows and develops, children ages 5-6 will meet more than 48 different Bible personalities in our kindergarten curriculum. Throughout their elementary years, children need to establish solid foundations, experience victorious living, and build essential life-skills. Core Bible provides 6 years (24 quarters of sequential Bible curriculum), DiscipleLand Adventure motivates kids to pursue their discipleship journey, and for kids church, DiscipleTown equips kids with essential discipleship skills.

Though parents and teachers are stewards of their children’s lives for a very short time, the teaching and training they provide has eternal consequences. According to the promise of Proverbs, a child who receives complete and systematic training in the “way he should go” will remain true to that way in this life and reap its rewards in the next.

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