Wednesday, August 2, 2022
6 Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old, they won’t be lost.
7 The poor are always ruled over by the rich,
so don’t borrow and put yourself under their power.
8 Whoever sows sin reaps weeds,
and bullying anger sputters into nothing.
9 Generous hands are blessed hands
because they give bread to the poor.
10 Kick out the troublemakers, and things will quiet down;
you need a break from bickering and griping!
-Proverbs 22:6-10 The Message
6 Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old, he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.
9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
-Proverbs 22:6-10 ESV
Verse 6 study: Defining “in the way he should go” is literally the child’s way. It’s natural to want to bring up a child similarly. This verse says that parents should sense the individuality and unique strengths God has given each one. We shouldn’t condone or excuse self-will; each child has natural tendencies that parents can develop. Talk to teachers, other parents, and grandparents. We can all discern and develop the individual capabilities of each child.
Train up a child has the idea of a parent investing in a child’s wisdom, love, nurture, and discipline is needed to become fully committed to God. The emotional and spiritual maturity of the parent must do so. Again, defining “in the way he should go” is training based on the child’s unique personality, gifts, and aspirations. This also means training to avoid any natural tendencies to not commit to God. Examples can be a weak will, lack of discipline, or depression. The promise is that the child will stay committed to God with proper development.
Many parents want to make choices for their children. Unfortunately, that hurts them in the long run. When a parent teaches a child to make decisions, they don’t have to watch every step he or she takes. They are assured that their child will remain on the right path because they chose it. Train your children to do the right thing.
The Hebrew expression includes the idea of inauguration or starting a child’s life along a particular way. That’s the way to wisdom. True wisdom is maintained because it has the humility to continue to learn in the way.
Verse 7 study: Does this mean we don’t take out a loan? It warns us never to take out a loan without thinking it over if we can pay it back. A loan we can handle is enabling, while a loan we can’t control is enslaving. The borrower should know that until the loan is paid, you are a servant to the institution or individual that made it. A simple observation is that wealth is power.
Verse 8 study: The lack of common sense transgresses divine order, inviting sorrow and dissolution.
Verse 9 study: A bountiful eye is willingly disposed to the needy. Our own well-being is bound up with that of others. We do it for their good benefits ourselves as well.
Verse 10 study: Social harmony can’t exist with a person starting trouble.