“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)
In a devotional style of writing, this author has examined the key figures in a home, identifying their respective roles and their relation to one another. In “The Value of a Woman” (posted in January), we noted a woman’s position of submission as being that which gives her value “far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). In “The Making of a Man” (posted in February), we saw that God’s “image” and “likeness” (Genesis 1:26) indicate a position of authority in which God has given Man dominion as His representative within Creation. We have seen God’s plan and purpose in this ordering as to present a type, or picture, of the special relationship between Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church.
However, there are others within the home who play an all important role in its life and health. We have noted an aspect lending itself to a woman’s value as being her productivity, and that this productivity is physical as well as spiritual. God’s order for the home is (1) its constitution and (2) its perpetuation. In instituting the home then, God ordained that a man and woman must first become one flesh in the marriage bond, and then be fruitful by having children.
At this point, many objections and questions arise: What if a couple can’t have children? What about un-wed pregnancies, single-parent homes, etc.? This study does not intend to be a parenting manual, nor does it claim to answer every detail. What it does claim is to set forth Biblical principles by which God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), has commanded the Training of a Child.
The Training of a Child at first indicates the positional role of the parent. Whether or not they are one’s own biological progeny (offspring), children are a gift from God. As such gift, the parental position is that of a steward of God’s gift. This gift confers blessings as well as responsibilities which must be understood and implemented by the parent seeking to be a faithful steward of God’s children.
The responsibility for a child’s training is actually two-fold: it is obvious that the primary responsibility is that of the parent, but the secondary responsibility lies with the child. When this two-fold aspect of training is one-sided, the parent-child relationship becomes unhealthy. When a parent is too permissive, the child becomes defiant. When the parent is oppressive, the child becomes too reliant. Either scenario leads to a shortcoming in the child’s maturity.
This series will make an examination of the parent/child relationship as it pertains to child-training. It is the hope and prayer of this writer that both parents and children will see their individual responsibilities and will seek to implement these simple Scriptural guidelines for the glory of God in their family.