This verse regarding Christian counseling and parenting may sound familiar to you. Solomon wrote a Biblical principle that many parents may find strangely familiar. He said in Proverbs 22:6: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Insights from a Christian Counselor

I’ll never forget when Pastor Charles Swindoll explains this verse to our congregation at the First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California. He made many memorable points that day, including these:

Parents are entrusted with the lives of precious and vulnerable children                   

A baby is born innocent and helpless, needing the protection, care and guidance of the parents. God is handing over the life, soul and body of a child into the hands and home of the parent, and is giving the adults complete and total responsibility for raising this child.

Parents are to shape the child according to that child’s traits or “bents.”       

Parents are called to be mindful of the child’s innate “bents.” God created a unique set of physical, personality, and purposeful elements within each person in the womb. This combination of traits makes up the uniqueness of this individual life.

Related to this second point, Pastor Chuck cautioned us about molding a child into their image, expectations, or purposes as parents. Bending a child into what a parent wants can lead to confusion, exasperation and harm within this precious life and soul, and effect the son or daughter over a lifetime.

Why Aren’t Parents Prepared to Raise Children?

Someone pointed out that our culture has licenses, certifications and validations for almost every profession. We were taught by licensed teachers, have our hair done by licensed cosmologist, see licensed doctors and nurses, and receive legal and financial advices from licensed lawyers, accountants, and financial planners.

Even at a personal level, many of us are licensed or certified to do our jobs; we have drivers licenses that allow us to drive to work and do errands, we listen to one who is a licensed clergyperson on Sundays, and we eat, shop, and find repair services from people who are licensed to help us. Even those of us who are married have a marriage license allowing and recognizing our weddings.

But omitted in the above examples is one important area where no training or certification is necessary: parenthood! That’s right. There is no license, no training and no certification for a person to conceive, bear, birth, adopt or raise a child.

Preparing Unprepared Parents

Over the years, I have seen the lack of preparation and effectiveness in “training up a child in the way he or she should go.”

You may or may not be in need of help in the area of parenting. Nevertheless, over the next four or so article, I would like to offer a simple template. Our model for parenting and raising children comes from God the Father himself and passage from that identified four areas of “training” and shaping that Jesus was raised with. It goes like this:

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52

Please stay connected as I elaborate on these areas of parenting.

Christian counselor Dr. Douglas Frey believes in Biblical principles and bringing forth God’s grace in meetings and sessions. Call or email Douglas Frey Ph.D. (952-920-2789). He is a licensed Christian counselor serving individuals and families in Eden Prairie and nearby Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Edina and other Twin Cities Western Suburbs.