“There are two ways to enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” — John Adams (1797-1801) Second President of the United States and Patriot

If you are a thinking person, you may well be asking yourself, “What does the picture at the top have to do with John Adam’s quote beneath?” Is there a mix-up?

Not at all.

A closer look at Proverbs 22 may reveal that these two very divergent themes have much to do with each other as the Bible lays out.

Most Christian parents are familiar with Proverbs 22:6:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he shall not depart from it.

I can tell you as a Christian parent of four small children, this is the central parenting verse in our home. Essentially, it conveys the spiritual truth that believing children make believing adults. In a sense, it is the principal of sowing in adolescence and reaping in adulthood–and all eternity!

But what does it mean to “train up a child”?

Does training up your children mean raising them by the world’s values and morays instead of God’s divine plan found in Scripture?

Does training up a child mean conceding your parental responsibilities and in actuality, letting your children train you?

(This may come as a shock, but somebody is getting trained in every parent/child relationship. Ask yourself which one are you.)

Does training up your children mean bringing them to church twice a year on Christmas and Easter? Is that what will produce adult believers in Jesus?

No.

We get a clearer view of what the Lord has in mind for “training” as we glean from Deuteronomy 6:5-9:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

In other words, to “train” up your children means a daily submergence of their lives into the things of God by nurturing a relationship with the Lord early on and by fostering an atmosphere for godly activities like Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship and things of the kingdom.

When?

Well according to the verse:

“when you sit at home” — At home.

“when you walk along the road” — Outdoors.

“when you lie down” — At Bedtime.

“and when you get up” — At Rising.

In a word, always. Around the clock.

In other words, training in righteousness is not an event, it is a lifestyle. It is your “modus operandi” in Latin or your mode of operation.

OK. That makes sense. If you want to raise children who will serve the Lord with their lives, expose them early.

But what does that have to do with the John Adam’s quote?

If you continue on in Proverbs 22 to the very next verse (7), we read this:

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Boy, does this verse bear repeating.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

That means that whoever you owe money to is actually Master over you.

Don’t believe me? See if the Thanksgiving turkey goes down the same way this year when you’re sitting next to family you didn’t owe money to last year.

Despite intention, being in debt changes the relational dynamics and places you in a position of subjugation.

The reason this lesson appears directly after verse six about training children is because the Bible teaches that part of our responsibility as parents is to teach our children how to handle money and the resources He has provided us, with responsibility and respect. If we do so, we will be blessed. If we don’t, we see what is right now occurring before our very eyes.

Sadly, we are reaping the whirlwind of global decline and national collapse as a people and a nation for ignoring this Biblical principal. Only when we have properly managed the affairs of our own resources, elected representatives who follow suit and have trained up our children to be responsible stewards of theirs, will we see the positively blessed effects of fiscal responsibility ripple all across the fruited plain.

God Save The Republic!

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