Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Some say that it is easier said than done. Why? The reason is because most people who get married and have children were never trained how to be good parents. They learned their “parenting skills” on the job, not in schools, colleges or universities, but through trial and error. Where is the proof?
According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013. Additionally, 4,751,400 adults in 2013 (1 in 51) were on probation or parole. In total, 6,899,000 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2013 (Wikipedia, 2014). I believe that the large majority of these men, women and youth prisoners were the products of “trial and error” parents who don’t train their children in the way they should go.
The question is, how can “trial and error” parents train their children in the way they should go when they too are still learning through “trial and error”? Many years ago I visited a friend who is a Pastor of a church. He was about 15 years older than I was. He and his wife told me about problems that they have with disciplining their oldest daughter. I told them that for me it is an "easy matter." And I described to them what exactly I would do. They laughed, politely, when they heard what I said. They must have thought that I must be kidding. What do I know about raising children compared to them who is much older and more experienced than I was?
My humble answer to the question above is this. We are surrounded by rules and regulations (laws) since we were little children. Our parents impose their regulations and rules upon us. Our society has certain expectations of how we should behave. The government has laws that we should obey. Our religion preaches certain rules and moral laws that we ought to follow. In short, rules, regulations, and laws are in abundance in the U.S.
We don’t have a shortage of laws and regulations. What we do have is a lack of - obedience. If you study the graph depicted on this linkand click "more definitions", you will see a dramatic decrease of the mentions of the word “obedience” between 1800-2010. One must wonder if there is an implied cause and effect relationship between the two – the increase in the rate of crime and the decrease in the mentions of the word "obedience." Are we becoming disobedient and stubborn human beings? Am I not correct when I say that those inmates who are in prisons have both problems, disobedient and stubborn?
The Bible teaches that we should train our children in the way they should go. How can parents successfully teach their children in the way that they should go if children are stubborn and disobedient? Even the Almighty God cannot do much when Adam and Eve decided to disobey God.
And so, before we can train our children in the way they should go, we should first teach them the habit of obedience – an extremely important concept that children must acquire very early in life.
Adam and Eve lost eternal life because they were disobedient to God. The Lord gave them NO second chance. If God gave them no second chance, human beings whom He had crafted with His hands, what chance do we have, products of our parents' lust, if we disobey His words?
The Bible says you know a tree by the fruits it bears. Matthew 7:16, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? 17, Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18, A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19, Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. 20, Wherefore by their fruits, ye shall know them.” (KJV).
Look at Jesus - He is the Fruit of his Father. He is obedient to Him until His death on the cross.