A proverb is a short saying that expresses a rudimentary truth or practical principle. In everyday life, parents hear sayings based on biblical proverbs, but may not be aware of their origins. For instance, the old saying, "spare the rod spoil the child," is from Proverbs 29:15. Many more originated with the Bible.
Proverbs 22 on Parenting
Of the Bible proverbs related to parenting, one of the most well-known is Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." The way he should go refers to the child's direction in life. The thing many people miss is that the word train, in Hebrew, is chanak, which means to dedicate. In this context, the parents' role is to train or dedicate the child to the ways of godly wisdom. The goal is to raise a child who becomes a mature, responsible adult who loves God and others.
Proverbs in the Bible is loaded with instruction in godly wisdom. If you look at the rest of chapter 22, you find it filled with words of wisdom. This is a good place to start in training your child in the ways of the Lord. These proverbs make God's ways clear. However, when educating your child in these ways, it's more than reading a verse or even memorizing a verse. The important thing is about learning how to apply it to everyday life. Knowing and applying the truth is how God's principles are instilled.
Proverbs 22 Examples
Here are a few more proverbs from chapter 22. These can be teaching opportunities you incorporate in real life.
- Be a lender, not a borrower. (Proverbs 22:7)
- Be generous and share with the poor and needy. (Proverbs 22: 9)
- Don't be a mocker (person unwilling to change). (Proverbs 22:10)
- Follow wise instruction so you may be confident in the Lord. (Proverbs 22:19)
- Don't be the companion of an angry man or you will become like him. (Proverbs 22:24)
Additional Biblical Proverbs for Parents
The following proverbs are reminders of how and why parents should instill godly principles in children.
Proverbs 1:8-9 encourage a son to pay attention to what his father has taught him and not to forget his mother's instruction. These teachings are compared to a garland worn on the head and a chain around the neck; such items are attractive and evident to all those near the person wearing them. This is a metaphor for the idea that the godly teachings of the parents are to be evident and attractive in the children they rear.
Proverbs 6:20-24 are another reminder of the importance of a child obeying what his father tells him to do as well as heeding his mother's teaching. Children are to bind these teachings to their hearts (the heart represents the inner person), as well as fasten them around their necks, which represents the fact that the teachings will be evident to those around the child. What you teach your child is to serve as a guide through life. In verse 24, the importance of correction and discipline is also emphasized.
In Proverbs 10:1, which is written by Solomon, parents are reminded that "A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother." This highlights the outcome of instilling godly principles and wisdom, and the negative results that ensue if this training is neglected.
Proverbs 23:24-25 promises great joy to the father of a righteous man and reiterates that he will delight in a wise son. Verse 26 is a reminder that a righteous son is one who gives God his heart and keeps his attention trained on His ways.
Proverbs for Parenting Today
Modern culture has changed since the days when Solomon wrote Proverbs, but the godly principles presented in it are eternal and timeless. This book of the Bible includes several excellent Bible lessons for children, as well as for their guardians. As parents, teaching these principles to our children can lay the foundation God desires. The result is a child that grows into an adult who knows the way he should go and doesn't leave that path.