The Way They Should Go

His father had never crossed him at any time by asking, “Why have you done so?” And he was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom. – 1 Kings 1:6

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There is a proverb (in the Bible) that states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it. (22:6).”

It seems to me that this is a good and a bad promise. If parents give their children good, biblical instruction, then the possibility (at least) exists that their children will grow up to be good people. On the other hand, if parents do not give their children good, biblical instruction, then their lives will probably turn out much worse. The difference is seen in who ultimately determines a child’s “life” journey.

Perhaps David found it hard to discipline Adonijah after the death of Absalom. The biblical record does not reveal the answer, but I think we may learn something from the outcome. The work of a parent is not to teach a child independence through a lack of guidance (letting them find their own way), but rather through solid instruction to teach a child how to depend on and receive instruction from God.

Even if our children choose to ignore such counsel, isn’t that the way we really want them to “go?”

When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son. – The Talmud

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