Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Human society is now hard enough, and needs more sympathy in it than one always sees; but what it would become if the hearts of men were not kept in some degree of softness and tenderness by the affections which are raised and developed by family life it is difficult fully to conceive. This text corrects the terrible and mischievous misconception that a child's future is altogether a thing of chance. It can be controlled. All life can be trained. It can be made to take a course different from that which it otherwise would take. The training is within certain limits. Children will be trained in spite of us. How they are trained depends largely on us. We rely on this same principle of training in every other relation which the child sustains. The laws of religious life are not capricious and incalculable laws. Duty has to be learned like a business, or a science, or a profession. The training of a child consists in
4. Prayer.Show me a child well instructed in the truths of the gospel, living day by day in the presence of consistent and winning examples, and surrounded with prayers, and I do not say that such an one may not through a strange self-will break his way through all these blessed influences and become a wreck and a castaway, but it will be a wonder if he comes to such a melancholy end, and it is easier to believe that in such a case the training has been faulty than that there has been a failure in the Divine promise which connects the spring and the autumn.
(Enoch Mellor, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.