Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Chances are if you’ve been around any mom of faith then you’ve probably rubbed up against this verse a few times. It’s sort of like the parenting “go-to” verse. It’s a great truth that I’ve clung to many times while raising my boys…but, there’s one part of it that I never fully was able to grasp until now.
Here’s what I’ve been learning on my twenty first year as a mama bear, we can train up them up–but they can choose to go their own way.
Gulp. That one has not been an easy pill to swallow for me. I have crossed all my t’s and dotted all my i’s along this parenting journey and truth be told, I thought I would get to this point and be able to sit back and rest in the fruit of those many years of godly parenting.
Go ahead, you can laugh out loud.
I did too.
Seriously, I just had to stop and laugh at myself for thinking that if you did “all the right things”, or at least tried to, while your kids were growing that you would miraculously end up with these perfect adults and then…ta-da, you’re done.
Silly girl, trix are for kids. Yeah, kinda naive, but this much I do know;
Scripture leaves no doubt about it: There’s nobody living right, not even one, Romans 3:10 (MSG)
So, why would I think that it was up to me at all?
Listen sweet friend, sometimes we think we’ve got this mommy thing all figured out. We can do all the right things, say all the right things, take the kids to every single parent/child class there is and read all the right parenting books out there…but…they might just choose to go their own way.
That’s the part of the whole parenting equation that is just so hard to swallow sometimes, but here’s something you can hold on to if your child does go their own way.
When our little ones become adults they can, and will, make their own decisions. The goal behind this verse, I am learning all too well these days, is this…we can not make their decisions for them, but we can trust, hope and have faith that the good work we’ve done in preparing a solid foundation for them will hold them steady when they start to fall.
It’s not always easy to think about that, especially if your kids are little, but if you, like me, have kids that are in their teen years or even in their twenties then trust in this; the foundation you’ve been building over the years is solid.
Step back, pray more fervently than you’ve ever prayed before, and trust that God has them squarely in the palms of His hands.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV
If you’ve got teenagers or adult kids in your world right now, then I’d love to pray for you.
Heavenly Father, this mom thing is no joke. It has some of the highest highs and some of the deepest lows, but Father we trust our kids to you. We know that we’ve done the best we can with our kids and now it’s up to you. Grab hold of their hearts and help them to see how deep, how wide and how your love never fails. Bring peace to our mama hearts Lord, in your Son’s precious name, Amen.
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