Train a Child in the way he should go

Proverbs is an interesting book filled with principles and sayings of the wise. There are many If – Then statements that people doubt are true. But, why do we doubt? This morning as I was spending time with Jesus and reading through several chapters in Proverbs I came to the verse in chapter 22 verse 6:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

As a new mom I began to think about this verse and then started doubting its truthfulness. Why did I do that? Good question. There are so many times where “Christian” parents raise kids that later become totally “unChristian.” So, if this verse is true, why is what I see around me reality. Several things came to mind as I sat looking at this verse and doing a little bit of commentary searching.

1. Maybe God isn’t talking about a child receiving salvation and living 100% for Him. Is it possible that this verse isn’t referring to a child and adult loving Jesus?

2. If it isn’t referring to salvation then what is it talking about? Is it a possibility that this verse recognizes the need for a parent to see and understand the child’s gifts from an early age and encourage them in that area? To train them in what they can excel in?

3. Are the examples I see around me true examples of what this verse states? Did the parents in actuality train up their child in the way he should go? Or did the parents train the child and push him to do what they wanted saying it was what Jesus wanted? Did the parents let their own selfish desires get in the way of training their child in the way he should go? Were the parents not truly seeking Jesus and training their children through discipline, example, encouragement, etc. I’m not Jesus, so I don’t know. But, it is a possibility to consider here.

So, this leaves me with a lot of questions and not a plethora of answers. However, I’m not ready to say that this verse isn’t true. I believe it is. So, how does this play into my role as a mom to little mister sprout? More than anything I want our son to love Jesus with his whole heart from a young age and until his death. However, I am not God, so I cannot control our sons brain. (Ok, actually God gave up the right to control it too). Our son will have free will and will be able to choose for himself to follow Jesus or to follow his sinful desires. However, Stephen and I will play a huge role in his life. And, according to Proverbs 22:6, it DOES matter how we interact with and train him. What is the way he should go? God’s desire is for each human to choose Him, so I do believe that God desires for our son to make that commitment. Besides that, I don’t know. Stephen and I both have hopes and dreams for our precious little mister sprout. However, we cannot allow those to interfere with training him in the way he should go – of nurturing and growing his natural God given abilities and talents. Our dreams for him are so inferior to God’s dreams for him. We cannot let our selfish desires get in the way of the life God has planned for this son of His.

God, give us the wisdom, meekness, and ability to train this young man in the way he should go, so that he will not depart from it when he is an adult. Teach us and show us what that is. Rid us of desires for him that are not of You and enable us to SHOW him love, respect, and a life devoted to You. Amen!

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