Proverbs 22:6 is a key verse in the Bible concerning child rearing. The first phrase in the verse says, “Train up a child in the way he should go.” That phrase literally translated from the Hebrew means to “initiate a child at the opening of his path.” Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, gives this advice as a father himself.

As a parent, I’m sure you remember the process of training your child to physically walk. At first, your child would only crawl, and then slowly he began to stand. As the process continued, you would hold him up and steady him as he tried to take a few steps. Eventually there came a time when you would only take a few steps away and then tell him to come to you. Until finally, you could sit across the room and call your child’s name, and he would walk right over to you on his own. Because you trained him to walk, you can now enjoy the benefits of playing games with him, and even watching him run and participate in different activities. All of this happened, because in your child’s earliest days, you began to help him with the small steps.

Your child is no different spiritually than physically. If you want to reap the benefits of one day seeing your child daily walk and thrive in the will of God for his life, then you are going to have to train him now in the beginning of his path of life. Concerning Proverbs 22:6, Adam Clarke wisely advises, “Show him the duties, the dangers, and the blessings of the path; give him directions how to perform the duties, how to escape the dangers, and how to secure the blessings, which all lie before him. Fix these on his mind by daily inculcation, till their impression is become indelible; then lead him to practice by slow and almost imperceptible degrees, till each indelible impression becomes a strongly radicated habit.” Above all, you must bathe your training in daily prayer for your children. Do not wait until your child is halfway down the path to begin training him. Initiate your training at the opening of the path, and see what God can do with his life as he runs the Christian race.