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Proverbs 22:6 ‘Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.’ (v6)

The understanding that Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings and not a series of laws is especially important when we come to interpreting today’s verse.

This verse has sadly been a source of great dismay for many Christians who assume that if their child strays away from God, especially later in life, then it must be due to the start they gave them.

It is always sad when a child moves away from the faith they had embraced in their youth, but especially if the parent or carer is facing the burden of thinking that they did something wrong.

But once again, if we understand Proverbs correctly we won’t reach this erroneous conclusion.

A Good Start

The verse says that we are wise to try to train our children in the Christian faith and that generally this training will stay with them.

But, of course, there are no guarantees, and some of the finest Bible teachers and pastors have known their children drifting away from the faith.

If this applies to us, we can pray to God, safe in the knowledge that the departure is not necessarily because of something we have done.

And even if we have made mistakes, thankfully these can be forgiven, and God will certainly not hold them against us, but in His grace and mercy will respond and be at work for good. Don’t despair; keep loving and praying and caring, and see what God will do.


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A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You, Lord, that families are important to You. Whatever my experience, help me to cherish the good parts. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
If you have children or parents who are alive, message them to say that you are thinking of them and love them.

Scripture To Consider:
1 Sam. 8:1–3; Prov. 1:8–19; Luke 2:41–52; Eph. 6:1–4

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.