Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, we had Michael dedicated at Cornerstone in Ames. The theme verse for Cornerstone’s dedication is Proverbs 22.6:

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

One of the items included in the packet we received at the dedication was an excerpt from The Bible Knowledge Commentary, by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck. It explains Proverbs 22.6 as follows:

This is perhaps the best-known verse in Proverbs on child training. The other verses on childrearing (13.24, 19.18, 22.15, 23.13-14, 29.17) are all on discipline. The Hebrew word for train (hanak) means to dedicate. It is used of dedicating a house (Deut 20.5), the temple (1 Kings 8.63, 2 Chron 7.5), and an image (Dan 3.2). The noun hanukkah speaks of the dedication of an altar (Num 7.10, 2 Chron 7.9) and the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 12.27). Only in Proverbs 22.6 is the verb translated “train”. Hanak seems to include the idea of setting aside, narrowing, or hedging in. The word is sometimes used in the sense of “start”. Child-training involves “narrowing” a child’s conduct away from evil and toward godliness and starting him in the right direction.

Having Michael dedicated does not make him a Christian, nor does it ensure he will live a God-honoring life. It is, however, a significant outward sign that it is our desire as his parents to train him to flee evil and pursue godliness. It is also a reminder that as part of the church, the body of Christ, we have people we can turn to who will help us in this endeavor.

Our prayer is that God would grant us the wisdom, grace, strength, and community (not to be confused with village) to train Michael in the way he should go.