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Question Proverbs 22:6 This small verse in Proverbs 22 has been quoted, at length, by literally millions of Christian parents over the centuries.   We know it to be true, because it is God’s Word – authoritative, infallible, and inerrant.  But what does it mean, and do we understand it correctly? Let us begin with the Hebrew. Train up, Chanak – to train, dedicate, inaugurate A child, Na`ar – a boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer In the way, Derek – way, road, distance, journey, manner, path, direction, habit, course of life, moral character And when he is old, Zaqen – to grow old, show age He will not depart, Cuwr – to turn aside, depart, avoid, to be removed, to come to an end, take away, put away, depose, to put aside, leave undone, retract, reject, abolish (biblestudytools.com) One attempt at paraphrase might look like this:  “Dedicate and train up a young one in the correct course of moral character, and when they grow old, they will not turn away from it.” But here is the question – what, exactly, is “it”? (i.e., the last word in this verse)  Is “it” the training – Chanak (word 1 above) or is “it” the way – Derek (word 3 above), or perhaps both?  This is what sometimes drives the question above – we have all seen children, who were raised in a biblical context, choose to walk away from Christian teachings (orthodoxy), rejecting the path or lifestyle (orthopraxy) of biblical Christianity, thus causing Christian parents to both quote, and be perplexed by, Proverbs 22.6.  So does this passage say that they cannot/will not forget the teachings (Chanak) of the Faith, in which they were raised, or does this passage say they cannot/will not leave the way (Derek)? Part of the answer to this depends on one’s beliefs either in humanity’s free will (Arminianism) or God’s preordination (Calvinism).   This conversation has been going on for the better part of 500 years, so we will not settle that discussion here.  Many a parent has wept and interceded for a child currently choosing to reject the Cross.  God hears those prayers, which are powerful.  Here is some food for thought – we might at least agree that once a child has been taught and discipled in the Truth of the Bible, by Godly parents who have modeled a vibrant Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that child cannot and will not escape the immortal Truths of Scripture, whether they choose to accept, believe and live the Gospel life for themselves or not. This much we know – God’s Word stands as the supreme rule of faith and conduct for our lives.  It is entirely true, to guide in a life well lived. Think on these things… Read Full Question