Learn As They Live and Live As They Learned

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

The end of this Proverb teaches us two things.  First, that training comes to fruition when a child is old.  Secondly, a child will not depart from the way he or she is trained at that time.

When is a child “old”?  The word, “old” means “hair on chin”.  It is not the idea of an elderly man, but a mature adult.  Much of the training of a child will bear fruit when they become mature adults.

In other words, take heart.  You may not see the fruits of your labor immediately.  One of my favorite quotes on raising children is that “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see”.  This is so true.  They become a family legacy.

The Proverb closes by saying, “he will not depart from it”.  Children will learn as they live and live as they learned.  So take heart, they are in process.  Today’s mistakes can become tomorrow’s successes.

How can you assess your child?  Proverbs 20:11-12 says, "It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself if his conduct is pure and right.  The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both."

You will be able to assess your child by his or her deeds.  Watch them.  They will tell you how they are doing by what they do.

I coach young children how to play volleyball.  As they learn the game, they are far from perfect.  I train them in the fundamentals and then they learn inductively as they play the game.  They make a lot of mistakes as they play their first matches.  But, you know what?  They keep getting better and will continue to do so up to their God given abilities.

The Lord has given much to your child.  Parents need to faithfully train them up according to the Word of God.  Mistakes will happen.  Nobody’s perfect.  But as they live their lives under their parents’ tutelage, they will learn as they live and eventually live as they learned. 

Something to think about…