Set the Tone | Parenting – Children 2
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
A proverb is a wise saying that is generally true. For example, verse 4 says, “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” Verse 29 says, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings.” But those are not promises; they are proverbs, just as verse 6 is a proverb. If we commit ourselves to raising our children in the direction they should go, if we are consistent, firm and loving, protective and fair, then our children will generally go the in right direction.
But not always. We must never forget that every human being has a sin nature. The best parenting in the world cannot train out the sin nature of a child. Each must choose the lordship of Jesus for themselves. But good parenting gives children a much better chance at having the life God wants for them. He knows that these little rewards come with overwhelming responsibility, so He gives us clear instructions about raising them. But God is also a parent. He adopted us into His family and took on the monumental task of training us to be like Jesus. So if a perfect Father can have unruly, rebellious children, then we certainly can too. Generally speaking, the kindness of the Lord leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). But we still have a free will, as our children do, and He won’t violate it. We can’t ensure our children’s success; but we can aim them in the right direction.
Good parenting points kids in the right direction, but even the best parent cannot train out a child’s sin nature.
Father, you know whether I’ve been faithful to train up my children in the way they should go. I confess my failures and ask your grace to cover them. You know which ones are still resisting you. Help me never stop praying. In Jesus’ name, Amen.