Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it
(Proverbs 22:6 NET)
As a parent, I get tired.
No, let me rephrase that…
As a parent, I AM tired.
I am tired of most things involved with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children with everything I have, but it can be exhausting. And I am worn out.
I’m tired of the disciplining. Tired of the care required. Tired of playing silly games. Just plain tired.
In the midst of a huge Parental Fail (complete with kids screaming and tantrums thrown), I made a desperate plea to God and quickly opened my bible, hoping to find something to calm me down.
I opened right to Proverbs 22.
Reading this verse, conviction hit me hard. I had desperately hoped to find something in that crazy moment of toddler meltdowns to make me feel better about myself (and possibly even cast all blame on my children for surely being inhibited by demons.).
(Ephesians 6:1, anyone?? How about Exodus 20:12???)
Instead, what I found was an extremely popular verse, from Solomon’s divinely-inspired wisdom. There isn’t a question mark in that verse either… “will you please train a child in the way he should go?” No, it’s a statement. Wisdom tells us to teach children in the way they should go. The second part explains why…
Our children’s future depends on us.
Whether it be a birthed, adopted, or mentored child – if they are not taught what’s right from wrong, they will not have a strong foundation for Christ in the future.
So when I’m tired of the disciplining, the caring, or even the playing, I’ll look to Him. After all, He set the greatest example as a parent. He showed us how to live and teach others – through love and patience. I know God calls me to do all of those things I don’t always want to.
Teaching our children how to live – everything from how to tie their shoes, to using good manners, to living for and loving Christ – is expected of us. The Lord truly did give us wise words through Solomon when He said to “train a child in the way that he should go.”
So I’m going to make myself go back in there and face yet another round of gentle disciplining, of band-aiding another skinned knee, of answering the same question 50 times, and even another game of My Little Ponies. (Sigh.)
Because I want to show this next generation the way to go – through love – so that when they are old, they will not stray.