During last week’s Vacation Bible School at church, I was reminded of the vital importance of the eternal truth in Proverbs 22:6 which reads: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” By God’s grace, I have been pastor at the same church for over forty years and I have seen that truth played out in the lives of our members. In our case, many of the adults which participated this year as teachers and helpers were at one time children in VBS themselves. I too remember being in VBS as a child and although I strayed far from the things of God in my early adult life, I choose to believe that what I learned in VBS played a big part in my coming back.
I read a report recently where a Princeton Scholar by the name of Benjamin Warfield, made a study of five generations which followed the great theologian, Jonathan Edwards, and a well known atheist of his day, Max Jukes. His results should not be surprising. Among Edwards’ descendants there were 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, and 100 pastors. Among Jukes’ descendants there were 310 paupers, (homeless people) 150 criminals, seven murderers, and more than a hundred alcoholics. The truth of Proverbs 22:6 has also been proven time and time again in the lives of many biblical figures. Reading in the biblical books of the Kings and also the Chronicles, the evidence is quite clear, especially with the kings of Israel. One after another, these were all bad kings. Should it surprise us that none of these were descendants of David?
We should make every effort, therefore, to put the advice of Proverbs 22:6 into practice in the lives of all the children in our family and any others in whose lives we play a part. Not only will that be good for them, it will be good for all those who are connected to them. It will expand and make a big difference in our communities, city, state, nation, yes, even in the world. If what we have in Christ is invaluable, it is worthy of being shared with our family and friends, beginning with the children. It is beyond invaluable, it is life saving. In every generation, the children are our future. And that was true even before someone thought of including the thought in a popular hit song of some years back.
God’s word for today: (Proverbs 14:26) “Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.”