What does Proverbs 22:6 really mean?

6 Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.


Setting the Scene for Proverbs 22:6

In the scene referred to in Proverbs 22:6, we find a serene and peaceful setting in a quaint village. The sun is setting, casting a warm golden glow over the landscape. A group of children, ranging in age from toddlers to pre-teens, are gathered around a wise elder under the shade of a large oak tree. The elder, known as Elder Samuel, is a respected member of the community known for his wisdom and kindness. The children are sitting cross-legged on the grass, eagerly listening to his every word.

The children have come to be in this scene as part of their regular evening gathering for storytelling and lessons on life and faith. Elder Samuel, with his gentle voice and kind eyes, captivates the children with tales of courage, kindness, and the importance of following the teachings of their ancestors. The scene is filled with laughter, curiosity, and a sense of unity as the children hang on to every word, eager to learn and grow under the guidance of Elder Samuel. The village, with its simple yet charming surroundings, provides the perfect backdrop for this moment of learning and connection between generations.

What is Proverbs 22:6 about?

This verse from Proverbs 22:6 carries a timeless wisdom that emphasizes the importance of early education and guidance in a child’s life. It suggests that the values, beliefs, and teachings instilled in a child during their formative years will greatly influence their behavior and decisions as they grow older. Imagine the impact of a young sapling being carefully nurtured and directed towards the sunlight to grow straight and strong. Similarly, when we invest time and effort in shaping the character and values of a child from a young age, we are setting a foundation that will guide them throughout their lives. We, as educators, parents, and mentors, are entrusted with preparing the next generation for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This verse reminds us of the profound influence we have on shaping the future through the values we impart to our children. It prompts us to reflect on the importance of intentional and mindful guidance, as well as the long-term implications of the seeds we sow in the hearts and minds of young learners. Our efforts will bear fruit in the lives of children as they mature into adulthood when we invest in their education and moral development with unwavering faith.

Understanding what Proverbs 22:6 really means

Structure for Commentary:

  1. Introduction to the Verse
  2. Explanation of Key Phrases
  3. Related Biblical Passages
  4. Relevance to Modern Life
  5. Personal Anecdote
  6. Reflection and Call to Action


Introduction to the Verse:
Proverbs 22:6 is a foundational scripture that speaks directly to the importance of early instruction and guidance. This verse emphasizes the role of upbringing in shaping a person’s future. It’s a call to parents, mentors, and community leaders to instill moral and spiritual values in the young.

Explanation of Key Phrases:
The phrase “train up a child” implies not just casual teaching but a dedicated, intentional effort to guide a young person. The word “train” suggests discipline, consistency, and engagement. The latter part of the verse, “he will not depart from it,” promises that the lessons ingrained in youth will endure throughout life. This reflects the idea that early influences have long-lasting effects.

Related Biblical Passages:
Ephesians 6:4 advises, “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” This echoes the sentiment of Proverbs 22:6, stressing the importance of a godly upbringing. Deuteronomy 6:7 also reinforces this, urging parents to teach God’s commandments diligently to their children. Grounding young people in strong moral and ethical principles is more crucial than ever in today’s fast-paced world, where societal influences are pervasive and often contradictory. With the rise of digital media and peer pressure, the foundational values taught at home can serve as a compass, guiding them through life’s complexities.

Personal Anecdote:
I remember a young man named James, who grew up in a challenging environment but was consistently taught biblical principles by his grandmother. Despite the chaos around him, those early teachings became his anchor. Years later, he faced numerous trials but always returned to the wisdom imparted to him as a child, which ultimately led him to a fulfilling and purposeful life.

Reflection and Call to Action:
Reflect on the values and principles you were taught as a child. How have they shaped your decisions and character? If you are in a position to influence young lives, consider the legacy you are leaving. Are you instilling values that will endure and guide them through life’s inevitable challenges? Let this verse inspire you to be intentional in your guidance, knowing that the seeds you plant today will bear fruit for a lifetime.

How can we ensure our children follow God’s ways?

To ensure that our children follow God’s ways as directed in Proverbs 22:6, it is essential to teach them from a young age the importance of knowing and obeying God’s teachings. Instilling values such as love, kindness, honesty, and integrity early on can help shape their character and guide their actions in accordance with God’s will. Additionally, leading by example is crucial, as children often learn best through observation and imitation. Parents can model the behavior they wish to see in their children by demonstrating a faithful and righteous life devoted to God.

Consistent and intentional efforts to nurture a child’s relationship with God through prayer, reading scripture, attending church, and participating in religious activities can also play a significant role in helping them stay on the right path. Engaging in open and honest communication about faith, addressing questions and doubts, and providing guidance and support can strengthen a child’s spiritual foundation and help them develop a personal connection with God. Parents can help their children grow in faith and live according to God’s ways by creating a supportive and loving environment that prioritizes spiritual growth and understanding.


Dear reader, imagine your guidance as the GPS for the young ones in your life. Proverbs 22:6 is your map, showing you the way to lead them towards faith and good character. Your role is critical, like a captain steering a ship through choppy waters. Are you prepared to be the steady hand they need and set a strong example in their spiritual journey?