Train Up a Child

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he grows older he will not abandon it(Proverbs 22:6 NASB)

Are we training our children in the way they should go? If we are, there will be demonstratable outcomes.

The Westminster Catechism has a shorter version, commonly called the Shorter Catechism, written primarily to instruct children. Once a US military officer was in a city in the Western world. Riots and violent gangs were raging all over the city. Amid the chaos, the military officer passes a young man who appears calm, in control, and confident. His demeanor seems so different from the environment around him that the officer turns and looks back at him when passing him. The officers noticed that the young man had also turned around. The young man returned to the officer and asked, “What is the chief end of man?” The officer said, “to know God and enjoy Him forever.” The officer said, “I knew you were a short catechism boy, and the young man replied, “And I knew you were likewise.”

Godly training brings about observable characteristics. Can our children shake hands and speak with respect to those much older than them? Are our young people able to understand the wisdom that comes from experience, or do they consider us old fashion? Have we taught them to use yes, Ma’am, or no Sir when appropriate? Have we taught them what the Bible says about serving so they will give an older man or woman their seat on a bus or subway? Have we taught our children that the world does not revolve around them, and they can’t have everything they want when they want it without exception? Have we taught them to respect themselves as they respect others and never be ashamed of their beliefs, who they are, and what they have or don’t have?

Of course, even with training, our children will never be perfect because we, as parents, are never perfect. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; (Proverbs 22:15a NASB); nonetheless, we must strive to curb that through instruction, discipline, and the grace of God. If we take seriously the admonition to train up a child, they will be less likely to stray from their faith as they age.

The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

Ken’s Website—
Ken blogs at
Email- [email protected]



Leave a Reply