Culture Clips: Train Up a Child …

kid reading with parents

It may not be as famous as John 3:16, but the counsel in Proverbs 22:6 is right up there when it comes to most-frequently quoted Bible verses: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” And some new research suggests that this oft spoken truism might just be … true.

Though many recent studies have lamented the trend of young people leaving the church, new research from Lifeway Research indicates that those who read the Bible when they were young were most likely to become faithful Christian adults. Other factors most frequently linked to holding on to faith were prayer and going to church.

One celebrity illustrating that connection this week is Fixer Upper star Chip Gaines, who told Fox News, “For me, [faith] changed everything. It’s a part of who I am. I can’t separate the two.” The spiritual convictions he internalized while growing up “have influenced the way we love each other; it influences the way we parent our children; it influences the kind of people we want to be in our community. It’s extremely important to me personally.”

Mark Wahlberg is also talking about his faith, somewhat jokingly expressing some regret for his role in the explicit 1997 movie Boogie Nights. While standing next to Catholic Cardinal Blase Cupich, Wahlberg (himself a committed Catholic) told the Chicago Tribune, “I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving, because I’ve made some poor choices in my past. … Boogie Nights is up there at the top of the list.” Speaking more generally about his life, he also added, “I feel remorse when I’ve made mistakes. If I could go back and change a lot of things that I did, I would. I look for ways to give back.”

Rebecca Black—whose vanity single “Friday” became one of the most-mocked internet moments of 2011—is also looking back on her painful journey to pop cultural infamy. Writing for NBC News, Black (now 20), is an advocate in the area of online bullying. “I will never fully understand how I became one of the first people to experience online bullying in an extremely intense way,” she writes. “But I do know now that what happened to me is truly just a global extension of something that goes on in every school, on every computer screen and in every neighborhood.”

Speaking of screens, Common Sense Media released its latest assessment on young children and media usage: “The Common Sense Census: Media usage by Kids Age Zero to Eight 2017.” There’s a massive amount of data packed into this report, but the key finding is that children spend an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes daily with screen media. Researchers say that while the amount of time spent on screens hasn’t changed much since the last report, the way kids consume screen time is changing rapidly, with the use of mobile devices growing even as TV time diminishes slightly.

And as lil’ tykes grow up and engage in more screen time, some adults are speculating about whether there’s a potential correlation between social media and the rapidly rising teen suicide rate. Meanwhile, Relevant writer Debra K. Fileta ponders how social media usage by young adults may be sabotaging their relationships by turning almost everything into what she labels “social pornography—by taking sacred things and throwing them into a not-so-meaningful context.” And in Honolulu, a so-called “smartphone zombie” law now gives police the right to fine pedestrians who are walking and looking at their smartphones at the same time.

All that said, however, social media’s influence continues to grow as more adults than ever now report sometimes or often getting their news from sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube and even Snapchat, according to the Pew Research Center. (Several of those sites, not surprisingly, turned up in Time‘s list of the most influential websites in the world.)

One bit of news that made the social media rounds recently was speculation that singer Kid Rock was running for Senate in Michigan. Well, it turns out that was all just a big joke, with Kid Rock basically punking everyone who bought into that seemingly unlikely possibility. In a profanity-laced interview with shock jock Howard Stern, Kid Rock said, “I’m not running for Senate,” he said. “Like who … couldn’t figure that out? I’m releasing a new album. I’m going on tour, too.”

Another entertainer who announced a big upcoming gig this week? Justin Timberlake.  He’ll be performing at Super Bowl LII’s halftime show next year. Apparently, the NFL thinks 14 years is long enough to let bygones be bygones regarding his last appearance at the big game, in 2004’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” halftime show with Janet Jackson.

Fallout from allegations and accusations against Harvey Weinstein continued this week as well. (And we’re likely not even close to being done with this story—and its far-reaching implications for Hollywood—just yet.) In her insightful Atlantic article “Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent,” writer and actress Brit Marlin details her own encounter with the now-shamed producer, talking specifically about the financial power men such as Weinstein wield over actresses’ futures.

But let’s not end on that note. Instead, if you’ve ever wondered about the movie science of motion capture, actor and director Andy Serkis (whose famous motion-capture roles have included Gollum and King Kong, among others) gives you a peak behind the digital curtain of this fascinating storytelling technology here.

Who wrote this?

Adam R. Holz is a senior associate editor for Plugged In. He also writes for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and has been a Boundless contributor. In his free time (which there is sometimes precious little of) Adam enjoys playing guitar and constructing LEGO kits with his son. Adam and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents, in fact, of three children, one boy and two girls.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'd just like to say (in as gentle a way as possible) that Proverbs 22:6 is up there with the most taken out of context and misinterpreted verses in the Bible. Most people, including myself, take the verse to mean if we train our children from the start, raise them in a Godly home, etc., that they will choose to love the Lord and never depart from it.

However, due to improper translation and lack of context, the exact opposite meaning of the verse has been missed. What the author of the Proverb is explicitly trying to express is that if a child is left in his own/natural way of depravity, he will maintain that state all his life and never depart from it. Also, this verse is surrounded with the context of financial management, which tends to be missed as well.

Your point in saying that our children need to be raised with the Bible being read is absolutely spot on! And the statistics stating the truth that children are more likely to be believers in homes that read the Bible also would be supported by this Proverb. I just want to continue to spread light on a verse that is commonly misunderstood.

Links for exegesis: