Proverbs 22:6 - Train Up A Child & He Will Not Depart.

Proverbs 22:6: Train Up A Child & He Will Not Depart. 

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Prov 22:6 (KJV)  Train up a child in the way he should go: and 
when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

Proverbs 22:6 (AMP)  Train up a child in the way he should go 
[and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old 
he will not depart from it. [Eph 6:4; 2 Tim 3:15.] 


Train. Or "Dedicate," Instruction and discipline are primarily 
involved. [NIV SB] 

Train. May include the idea of dedicate as well as educate. 
[Ryrie SB] 

Traditionally, this verse has been interpreted as a promise to 
good parents that spiritual nurture ultimately would assure their 
children of godly lives. If the promise is not fulfilled, the duty has 
not been performed. It is true that the word "train" (hanak, Heb.) 
comes from a root meaning "to put something into the mouth" or "to 
affect the taste." A kindred Arabic word was used to describe the 
process of putting date syrup into the mouth of a newborn to encourage 
sucking. Thus, training goes beyond teaching or imparting knowledge to 
include positive motivation as well as modeling godly behavior before 
the child. [Believer's SB] 

Many parents want to make all the choices for their child, but 
this hurts him or her in the long run. When parents teach a child how 
to make decisions, they don't have to watch every step he or she 
takes. They know their children will remain on the right path because 
they have made the choice themselves. Train your children to choose 
the right way. [Life Application SB] 


Way he should go. The right way, the way of wisdom. [NIV SB]

In the way he should go. Lit., according to his way; i.e., the 
child's habits and interests. The instruction must take into account his 
individuality and inclinations and be in keeping with his degree of physical 
and mental development. [Ryrie SB] 

"In the way he should go" is literally, "according to his [the 
child's] way." It is natural to want to bring up all our children alike 
or train them the same way. This verse implies that parents should 
discern the individuality and special strengths that God has given each 
one. While we should not condone or excuse self-will, each child has 
natural inclinations that parents can develop. By talking to teachers, 
other parents, and grandparents, we can better discern and develop the 
individual capabilities of each child. [Life Application SB] 

The phrase "in the way he should go" is more literally 
"according to his way." In other words, the parent who continually allows a 
child to have his own way is laying a foundation for self-willed 
living, from which the child will not depart (cf. 3:5; 12:15; 14:12; 
21:2; 29:15; Judg 21:25; Isa 53:6). This would explain a child who, 
under the influence of a godly home, chooses to attend to the things 
of the Lord; whereas in his adult years he tires of the spiritual 
life and willfully turns to the way of the world, breaking the hearts 
of his parents and rejecting the training of his youth. [Believer's 

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

Proverbs This Hebrew word means an "insightful saying." The word 
is commonly associated with Solomon, who spoke some three thousand 
proverbs (1 Kin. 4:32; Eccl. 12:9). In Proverbs, the section headings 
indicate that both the two-line witty adage and the longer instructions 
of wisdom can be called by this name (see 1:1; 10:1; 25:1). In Job, 
even an extended philosophical discourse can be called a proverb (Job 
27:1; 29:1). In Ezekiel, the insightful saying can take on the form of 
a parable (see Ezek. 17:2; 24:3). The Book of Proverbs makes it 
clear that all of these sayings are exclusively the domain of the wise 
(1:6; 26:7, 9). They are intended to instruct us in the realities of 
life, the truth, and most importantly the fear of God (1:6, 7). 
[Nelson SB] 

PROVERBS 10:1-22:16
This major collection of Solomon's proverbs stresses two ways of 
life or two value systems, wisdom (righteousness) and folly (sin). 
The comparisons normally come in parallel verses. The wise will 
prosper, and the foolish will suffer. The theologian must understand the 
biblical intent here. Proverbs offers the inspired generalization of the 
experiences of generations of God's people. Such generalizations prove true 
in the overwhelming majority of cases. They cannot be considered 
natural laws which prove true in every instance. They must not be used 
as criteria for judgment to condemn ourselves or others of ungodly 
lives because we do not reach a certain standard of prosperity. 
[Disciple SB] 

The Proverbs of Solomon  (10:1-22:16)
The major collection attributed to Solomon  (10:1-22:16)
On Life and Conduct
The Cure Comes Through Discipline  (22:1-16)

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Deut. 6:7 (KJV)  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy 
children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and 
when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou 
risest up.  

Ephes. 6:4 (KJV)  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to 
wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  

2 Tim. 3:15 (KJV)  And that from a child thou hast known the 
holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation 
through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?

Many parents have taken this verse as sanction for forcing a 
child to follow the profession or trade they think he ought to. Thus 
they have brought sorrow and disappointment upon themselves, for the 
child, on growing up, often goes an entirely different way. The verse 
rather counsels parents to learn the way in which their particular 
child can be expected to be of most service to himself and others, and 
in which he will find most happiness. The specific station in life 
appointed for a man is determined by his capabilities (Ed 267). To every 
individual God has assigned a place in His great plan (PK 536). God has 
equipped man with the capabilities needed to fill this special place. 
Therefore the choice of a lifework should be in line with the natural 
bent. The efforts of the parents and the child should be directed 
toward discovering the kind of work Heaven has already determined. 
Inspiration declares that this verse enjoins parents to "direct, educate, 
develop," but that to do this "they must themselves understand the 'way' 
the child should go" (CT 108). [SDA Commentary] 

To parents is committed the great work of educating and training 
their children for the future, immortal life. Many fathers and mothers 
seem to think that if they feed and clothe their little ones, and 
educate them according to the standard of the world, they have done 
their duty. They are too much occupied with business or pleasure to 
make the education of their children the study of their lives. They 
do not seek to train them so that they will employ their talents 
for the honor of their Redeemer. Solomon did not say, "Tell a child 
the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from 
it." But, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is 
old, he will not depart from it." {CG 38.2} 

Do not depend upon the teachers of the Sabbath school to do your 
work of training your children in the way they should go. The Sabbath 
school is a great blessing; it may help you in your work, but it can 
never take your place. God has given to all fathers and mothers the 
responsibility of bringing their children to Jesus, teaching them how to pray 
and believe in the word of God.  In the education of your children 
lay not the grand truths of the Bible to one side, supposing that 
the Sabbath school and the minister will do your neglected work. The 
Bible is not too sacred and sublime to be opened daily and studied 
diligently. The truths of the word of God are to be brought into contact 
with the supposed little things of life. If rightly regarded they 
will brighten the common life, supplying motives for obedience and 
principles for the formation of a right character. {AH 189.2} 

If you have failed in your duty to your families, confess your 
sins before God. Gather your children about you and acknowledge your 
neglect. Tell them that you desire to bring about a reformation in the 
home, and ask them to help you to make the home what it ought to be. 
Read to them the directions found in the Word of God. Pray with them; 
and ask God to spare their lives, and to help them to prepare for a 
home in His kingdom. In this way you may begin a work of reformation; 
and then continue to keep the way of the Lord.  {CG 557.3} 

No work every undertaken by man requires greater care and skill 
than the proper training and education of youth and children. There 
are no influences so potent as those which surround us in our early 
years. Says the wise man, "Train up a child in the way he should go: 
and when he is old, he will not depart from it." The nature of man 
is threefold, and the training enjoined by Solomon comprehends the 
right development of the physical, intellectual, and moral powers. To 
perform this work aright, parents and teachers must themselves 
understand "the way the child should go." This embraces more than a 
knowledge of books or the learning of the schools. It comprehends the 
practice of temperance, brotherly kindness, and godliness; the discharge 
of our duty to ourselves, to our neighbors, and to God.  {FE 57.1} 
The training of children must be conducted on a different 
principle from that which governs the training of irrational animals. The 
brute has only to be accustomed to submit to its master; but the child 
must be taught to control himself. The will must be trained to obey 
the dictates of reason and conscience. A child may be so disciplined 
as to have, like the beast, no will of its own, his individuality 
being lost in that of his teacher. Such training is unwise, and its 
effect disastrous. Children thus educated will be deficient in firmness 
and decision. They are not taught to act from principle; the 
reasoning powers are not strengthened by exercise. So far as possible, 
every child should be trained to self-reliance. By calling into 
exercise the various faculties, he will learn where he is strongest, and 
in what he is deficient. A wise instructor will give special 
attention to the development of the weaker traits, that the child may form 
a well-balanced, harmonious character.  {FE 57.2} 
In some schools and families, children appear to be 
well-trained, while under the immediate discipline, but when the system which 
has held them to set rules is broken up, they seem to be incapable 
of thinking, acting, or deciding for themselves. Had they been 
taught to exercise their own judgment as fast and as far as 
practicable, the evil would have been obviated. But they have so long been 
controlled by parents or teachers as to wholly rely upon them. He who seeks 
to have the individuality of his scholars merged in his own, so 
that reason, judgment, and conscience shall be subject to his 
control, assumes an unwarranted and fearful responsibility. Those who 
train their pupils to feel that the power lies in themselves to become 
men and women of honor and usefulness, will be the most permanently 
successful. Their work may not appear to the best advantage to careless 
observers, and their labor may not be valued so highly as that of the 
instructor who holds absolute control, but the after-life of the pupils 
will show the results of the better plan of education.  {FE 57.3} 
Both parents and teachers are in danger of commanding and 
dictating too much, while they fail to come sufficiently into social 
relation with their children or their scholars. They maintain too great a 
reserve, and exercise their authority in a cold, unsympathizing manner, 
which tends to repel instead of winning confidence and affection. If 
they would oftener gather the children about them, and manifest an 
interest in their work, and even in their sports, they would gain the 
love and confidence of the little ones, and the lesson of respect and 
obedience would be far more readily learned; for love is the best teacher. 
A similar interest manifested for the youth will secure like 
results. The young heart is quick to respond to the touch of sympathy.  
{FE 58.1} 

The training of a child in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord is not an option; neither is it an easy task.  The difficulties 
involved might seem overwhelming and not worth it, if we didn't have that 
precious promise attached to the command:  at some point the child will 
live the way he/she was taught. What comfort for parents who have 
given themselves to their children in response to God's commands!  
Even if our children are in rebellion at the moment, we can know that 
there is coming a day when the fruits of our labors will be evident to 
all. If you are presently raising children, you need to find out what 
God requires of you and do it.  If you have raised some, and they 
are not following the Lord right now, trust Him to keep His word.  
He is faithful!  If you have done what is right and your children 
are walking in the light, rejoice and find some parents who need 
your comfort and prayers! [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom] 

An old woman with a halo of silver hair--the hot tears flowing 
down her furrowed cheeks--her worn hands busy over a washboard in a 
room of poverty--praying--for her son John--John who ran away from home 
in his teens to become a sailor--John of whom it was now reported 
that he had become a very wicked man--praying, praying always, that 
her son might be of service to God. The mother believed in two 
things, the power of prayer and the reformation of her son. God answered 
her prayer by working a miracle in the heart of John Newton.  John 
Newton, the drunken sailor became John Newton, the sailor-preacher [who 
wrote the words to "Amazing Grace."] Among the thousands of men and 
women he brought to Christ was Thomas Scott .... [who] used both his pen 
and voice to lead thousands of unbelieving hearts to Christ, among 
them William Cowper .... [who] in a moment of inspiration wrote "There 
Is a Fountain Filled with Blood." And this song has brought 
countless thousands to the Man Who died on Calvary. All this resulted 
because a mother took God at His word and prayed that her son's heart 
might become as white as the soapsuds in the washtub.--from Spring in 
the Valley by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. When praying for your 
children, keep in mind that not only will your children's lives be 
changed, but they will change the lives of others. [God's Little 
Devotional Bible re 1Ti.2:1] 

Let Go and Let God
I was there when you were born. I held you in my arms, a tiny 
baby, dependent upon me for your every need. I wanted to cuddle and 
hold you close forever, but you wiggled and squirmed and twisted your 
head, wanting to see the world. I watched you take your first steps. 
"Come to Mommy," I said and you happily fell into my arms, but as your 
confidence grew you used those little feet to run away and hide. I heard 
your first words: Mama, Dada, and No! From the beginning you asserted 
your individuality and independence, and you let it be known, "I can 
do it myself!" I drove you to school that first day. I was so proud 
watching you walk confidently through the door, but I cried seeing my 
baby walk away. Now I see you walking out the door, a young adult 
ready to face the world on your own. Will you be safe? Who will wake 
you up in the morning, make sure you're on time? Who will schedule 
your doctor and dentist appointments? Who will kiss the bruised 
knees, wipe the tears, and hug away the pain of failures and mistakes? 
I can't be there and it frightens me, but you blithely walk out 
the door full of hopes and dreams, ready to conquer the world, 
without a backward glance. Lord, when did I learn to let go and trust 
you to care for my child? I didn't want to let go. I wanted to hold 
on tightly. I wanted to protect her from life's tough lessons. I 
wanted to make her life easier, less stressful. I wanted to make her 
decisions using my life experiences, but I can't. She has to learn on her 
own, just as I did. I have raised her to know and love you. To the 
best of my ability, I have taught her the skills needed to live a 
happy, productive, independent life. Now I have to let go, give her 
wings and let her fly on her own. 
It's up to her to make choices. Will she embrace the faith she 
learned at home and make it her own? That's her choice. Will she live by 
the standards she was taught as a child? That's her choice. Will she 
be a good person, a faithful wife, a loyal friend, and a 
compassionate mother? These, too, are her choices. I have built the 
foundation; she must choose how she will build upon it. I'll always be her 
mother, her advisor and counselor, but not her leader. I'll be there to 
support her, to be her number one fan and cheerleader, but I cannot 
control her life. I'll be there to help, but never to interfere. My role 
in her life has changed. I have let my child go, and in her place, 
God has given me a beautiful woman and my best friend. Moms, love 
your children with all your heart. Thank God for the precious gift He 
has given you but don't hold on too tightly. Allow them the freedom 
to grow. In your desire to protect your children, you can smother 
their individuality and uniqueness and prevent them from growing into 
healthy adults. Allow them to make choices, even when you know they're 
wrong, so they learn how to make wise decisions. Teach them to pray 
about their choices so they come to depend on God for answers. Allow 
them to fail, so they understand the consequences of bad choice. 
Moms, trust in the fact that God loves your children, His children, 
far beyond your imagination. Believe in your heart that God want 
what is best for them. Remember, He has promised never to leave or 
forsake them. When you grasp that truth, it is easier to let go, a 
little at a time, and allow God to accomplish the good work He has 
begun. by Nancy Trout, Renewing the Heart; Juan Salazar Snchez