Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Children are not computers or robots to be programmed with perfection. God created humans with free will to make choices about their life’s activities, so when Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden had chosen to violate God’s Rules for them He asked them: “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Genesis 3:11). They had obviously chosen a different decision which the serpent had offered.
Parents’ duties are summarized thusly: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7). It is up to both parents, husband and wife, to keep God’s Word before their child, and not leave it up to grandparents, video games, school teachers, neighbors, or TV! This training should start “from childhood” (literally, “as a baby,” 2 Timothy 3:15); from mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5); under direct guidance of the father (Ephesians 6:4). The tragedy of single-parenting is that this burden often becomes too great for one to adequately, evenly achieve.
Parents’ must individualize God’s instructions to each child, and begin them on the right way (“he should go”). Teach the child what is expected, fill each child with a hungering and thirsting for God’s Word. “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17). The joy of parenting is seeing God’s Word being internalized by each child. The successful parent has placed their child’s hand in God’s Hand. God knows that even as adults, we should be like the Apostle Paul, who wrote: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). No child will mechanically make all the right decisions, but sin and forgiveness of sin is what life is about, and God “is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Parents’ must realize that God does not hold them responsible for their children’s adult decisions! Even in God’s Law through Moses this was true: “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16). David phrased it right in Psalm 34:11: “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”
Parents are only responsible for how they start their children in life, not for the end result of their lives!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.