Month: April 2021

Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 2)

In the Way

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The word “way” (derek), occurs seventy-five times in Proverbs. In only four cases does it denote an actual road or path:

  • In every other occurrence it poetically indicates “a way of life or manner of actions.” This could mean two things: (1) The child future calling and station; (2) His character and natural inclination and capacity.
  • The word “derek” (way) parallels God’s “works of old”“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old” (Proverbs 8:22) and “departing from evil” (Proverbs 16:17).
  • Several times, “derek” (way) parallels the thought of walking uprightly (Proverbs 14:2; 28:6,18). This lead, then, to the conclusion that “derek” (way) in Proverbs 22:6 refers to a way of life.
  • A contrast occurs between the careless keeping of a person’s way and keeping the “commandment” – Proverbs 19:16 “He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul, but he that despiseth His (God’s) ways shall die.”

Proverbs 22:6 implies that parents should discern the individuality and special gifting, talent and special strengths that God has given to the child. Parents teach their child on how to make decisions and the choosing of the right way. 

Training the child in “the proper way” is the most important – acknowledging the Divine standard in God’s Word (Scriptures). Wisdom in choosing the proper time and skill in adopting the best method and principles (God’s Word) as habits and character are in-grafted for life.   The application most naturally refers to providing suitable instruction to a child. The child needs and potential (talent, gifting, ability, etc) guide the parents as they direct his development. There is nothing in Proverbs 22:6 that limits this to the spiritual area only. The maxim (saying) rather suggests that the full scope of the child’s training lies within the realm of parental guidance. This sphere naturally includes the spiritual within its boundaries.

The guidance would embrace other areas of development as well.  Proverbs 22:6 is both a Command (“train up a child in the way he should go.”) and a Promise (“and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”). Parents should provide individualised training suitable to the needs and the potential of the child. His strengths and weaknesses, his temperament, his emotional needs, and a host of other attributes should be taken into consideration as the parents direct his way. As the parents remain faithful, they can have the assurance that their child will gradually adopt those ways and make them his own. The promise is that the child will never leave that path upon which he had been set by consistent training. The child will hold to his basic orientation, an underlying motivation that will point him along the right way of life. Mistakes in his life will not take place with enough frequently to become settled habits of life.

When children are thus trained up they will be led into the paths of life and peace, and even when they are old they will not turn aside out of them. Timothy from a child was trained up in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and the faith which dwelt in his grandmother, Lois and mother, Eunice (2Timothy 1:5; 3:16), dwelt in him also, for Scriptures made him wise unto salvation. It is a great pleasure to parents to see their children walking in truth, and it is an unspeakable heightening of that pleasure when their own instructions and admonitions have been blessed by God, as a means of conducting them into that good path. Parents love their children because the children were the “heritage” of their existence, but they will look upon their inheritance (given by God) with great joy when their children walk in the way in the Fear (Reverential Fear) of the LORD.

The Consequences of the Training

“When he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6b). Here is the reward of teaching the young. The work is slow but encouraging as we will see results surfacing. When the “values” have been imparted and laid holds on the child, it is not likely to be ever effaced (wipe or rub out). The teachings of the parents and grandparents are remembered after many years because good habits and character formed are not easily broken. What makes this assurance stronger is that habit and character become more powerful with each effort and each action. Every day the good habits the child has formed and are exercising become more deeply rooted in his life


Grandparents have a lifetime of experience. Old age symbolised in the Proverbs by “grey hair,” has a certain “glory” if it comes at end of a “righteous life” – “Grey hair is a crown of splendour; it is attained by a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31). Understandably, younger people do not appreciate the intrusion of aged parents (or grand parents) into their affairs, but they may be surprised at the sympathetic hearing they get when they take aged parents (or grand parents) into their confidence. The grey-headed (parents, grand-parents) should not be despised. Aged parents (or grand parents) needed not be written off as outdated if they have lived their years in a healthy relationship with a wise and loving God, they should have wisdom from which younger people can profit. In every generation, parents make sacrifices so that their children enjoy opportunities and benefits that they themselves were denied. Rarely do aged parents (or grand parents) show any jealousy because of this. On the contrary, they receive much enjoyment through seeing their children and grandchildren benefit from the privileges they lacked. This is one way in which “grandchildren” are the crown of the grandparents – Proverbs 17:6 “Children’s children are a crown to the aged (grand parents), and parents are the pride of their children.”

Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 1)

Scripture Text:

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

God’s Heritage:

Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are and heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward.

Children are the “heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). The Hebrew word for “children” is from a root meaning “to build.”

The recognition that children are God’s gift is the basis for building a successful home. Conception is God’s reward to His people (Deuteronomy 28:4,11). The prosperity, alike of States and of Individuals, depends largely on an abundant progeny (off-spring) of children. Children are manifestly God’s Free Gift.

God’s Word commands the parents to nurse and train up their children and those who obey His command shall be richly approbation (approval) of God, and the satisfaction of children who are well-brought up. Childhood is the proper period of education and this is universally acknowledged:

  • Each child begins a new life. If all that are desirable could be wrapped up in his being, this would need to be developed by training.
  • The child does not come into the world with a ready-made stock of experience and knowledge. He must learn truth and be made to see the right path, which is at first unknown to him.
  • The child needs not only be taught, but to be trained. He must be helped to do what is at first too much for his strength. His better nature must be drawn out, nourished, and confirmed.
  • Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15a) “But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15b). Training is the “rod of correction” (not necessarily the physical rod) that needs to be exercised by the parents and grandparents, with due care and love.
  • Habits and character have not yet been confirmed in the young child mind. Training moulds his habits and character. It is easier to form a character than to reform it.
  • A child is peculiarly open to religious impressions. As a Christian, faith is natural to a child. Teaching on God and the Bible is well received by him. A child is opened to influence, if he is not trained in goodness, he will follow his natural tendency to things that is not desirable
  • Early years of the child should be given to Christ. God seeks the opening bud and not the withered leaf.
  • Let the parents seek, besides training in good habits and character, to win his heart to that Divine Wisdom in his personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and walks with the Lord.


Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The initial command “train” (chanak), means, first, “to put something in to the mouth,” “to give to be tasted,” as nurses give to infants food which they have masticated (chew) in order to prepare it for their nurslings; thence it comes to signify “to give elementary instruction,” “to imbue (instil),” “to train.”

The maxim to mean that the child should be trained from the first in the right path – the path of obedience and relationship both of God and man. The “Law” of the training:

  • There is a practical end in education. We are not merely to teach doctrine, but chiefly to train conduct and character.
  • According to the right – There is a way in which a child ought to go. It is the parents’ responsibility to lead him in it.
  • According to future requirements – While the main principles of education must be the same for all children, the special application of them will vary in different cases. Parents apply them to the specific gifting, talents, calling, expected of each child.
  • According to personal qualities – Each child’s nature needs separate consideration and distinctive treatment. The training that would ruin one child might save another. Parents are not to drill all children into one mould fashion of behaviour; they have rather to call out the individual gifts and capacities, and guard against the individual faults and weaknesses. Thus, the training of a child will be the directing of his own specific nature.

This initial command of “train” states the need to prepare the “child” (na’ar). The verb “train” (hanok) occurs only five times, elsewhere all in connection with building and meaning “to begin the use of” (or “to dedicate”).

The verb, to train, indicates the first instruction that is given to a child, i.e. his early education. This training is designed to open before the child the manner of life for which he is intended. To commence the child’s education in this way is of great importance, for the tree follows the bend of its early years. Training should be sweetened by good nature and guided by good example, rather than by precepts only. Correction must likewise have its place in training up your children and God will crown the whole with His blessing. Of late years much attention has been directed to the distinction between teaching and training:

  • Teaching – The tendency in a former age to pile up reading, writing, and few other kindred arts, and call them education, was superficial in its philosophy, and may be disastrous in its practical results.
  • Training involves teaching. Moral training according to the Divine standard, with the view of moulding the child, while yet young and tender, into right principles and habits of action

The oldest training school is still the best: home is the best school-room, parents, grand-parents, brothers, and sisters have great part to play in the moulding of the child’s character.

To be continued…….. Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 2)

Diligence and Skill (Proverb 22:29)

Scripture Text:

Proverbs 22:29 (NIV) “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand (serve) before kings; he will not stand (serve) before obscure men.


Proverbs 22:29 is an unusual saying. Its central emphasis is “A man skilled in his work.”. The structure of this verse can presented in three lines:

  • Do you see a man skilled in his work?
  • He will stand (serve) before Kings.
  • He will not stand (serve) before obscure men.


The Hebrew word for “skilled” combines the ideas of: Skill, speed and use of time wisely. The word “skilled” (máhír) includes:

  • Excel, diligent. It has the root idea of “quick, prompt.”
  • It also combines the ideas of talent, understanding, and careful pain-taking work:

In other words, the person is quick to improve his circumstances and pursue opportunities. He is the person who is improving his skill all the time and is making the most of every opportunity. For Example:

  • Ezra the Scribe –
    “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready (skilled) scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord, his God, upon him.” Ezra 7:6
  • The Singer –
    “My heart is overflowing with a good matter; I speak of the things which I have made touching the king. My tongue is the pen of a ready (skilled) writer.” Psalm 45:1
  • Future Davidic King –
    …be prompt (skilled) in justice.” (Isaiah 16:5)

First Promise:

Proverbs 22:29b “He will stand (serve) before kings.”
This proverb states that the person who works hard and with skill will succeed in his career. He will work for the most powerful and influential people in society:

  • He will be marked out for special notice, for “advancement and honour” (higher service), whether in the secular or ministry.
  • He will stand out above the average persons in his work-place.

Promotion should come as a reward of diligent acquisition of skill, not so much from “ladder climbing” and unholy ambition. Proverbs 12:24 extolled the rewards of diligence. Now, it specially addresses the outcome of focusing on work ethic before advancement. The Scriptures are filled with examples of just such reward:

  • Joseph rose to serve, first, Potiphar (Genesis 39:4) and then, Pharaoh himself (Genesis 41:46).
  • David served King Saul (1Samuel 16:21-23).
  • Nehemiah served King Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 1 & 2).
  • Daniel served King Nebuchadnezzar, etc (Daniel 1-12).

We need to improve our skill and work diligently whether in the secular or in the ministry
because it brings glory and honour to our Lord Jesus.

2nd Promise

Proverbs 22:29c “He will not stand before obscure men.” The promise is further enhanced: “He will not stand (serve) before obscure men.”The words “stand” and “obscure” are importance:

  • “To Stand” – In the Hebrew mind, to “stand before” meant to “view or to stand ready to serve.” Thus, the promise here is not advancement to a place where the person no longer must work, but to further, albeit recognised service.
  • The word “obscure” (h’shukkím = “unknown”), used here suggests the people who work in the “dark” and thus, hidden or obscured. The person who is skilful and diligent will soon find himself promoted from working for “obscure men” to serving successful and influential persons (“Kings”).
  • Thus, a skilful and diligent person would not be satisfied with serving masters that are slothful and men of no importance because he knows that he is capable of better things.


  • This proverb states that the person who works hard (diligent and excel), with “right skill” and divine favour will succeed in his career. He will work amongst “influential people” in the society.
  • While a person who is unskilful and slothful will spend his career working for people on the lower end of the social stratum – Proverbs 12:24 “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labour.”


“Lord Jesus, help me to honour You in my work. Thank You, Lord, that You have given me meaningful and fulfilling work to do and that You have given me the skills with which to do it.”

Book of Proverbs

It is difficult to be diligent without a dream, a vision or a goal. See it, set it, secure it, and succeed with it.

  • The diligent will always have sufficient, but the lazy will become poor – Proverbs 10:4 (NKJV) “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
  • The diligent rules (is a leader) but the lazy becomes slave – Proverbs 12:24 (NKJV) “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.
  • The Diligent will always follow through, but the lazy will do a halfway job – Proverbs12:27 (NKJV) “The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man’s precious possession.
  • The Diligent plans for his future with financial prudence in mind – Proverbs 21:5 (NKJV) “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.
  • The Diligent and skillful will stand before great men and kings – Proverbs 22:29 (NKJV) “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.
  • Pastor is to know the state (condition) of his flock and to attend to the flock’s needs – Proverbs 27:23 (NKJV) “Be diligent to know the state of the flocks and attend to your herds.” – Acts 20:28 (NKJV) “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood.