Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it – Proverbs 22:6
This scripture just “popped” in my head yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere. I will admit to you that it didn’t feel very encouraging when it did. I wish it did. It reads like a promise that I want to take hold of. It should be very encouraging to believe it. It should be very encouraging to believe that if you train them to go in the right way, your kids will never forget what they’ve been taught. It should be encouraging to believe they will NEVER depart from it.
I’m smack dab in the middle of training up children, yet they already do things that shock me. They are already showing signs of things I have not taught them. They do tend to forget from moment to moment what they have been taught and they are nowhere close to old. How could it be true that they will not depart, when it appears that many times they already are? Don’t misunderstand. My girls are good kids. They are normal kids trying to make their way thru this crazy world and all the temptations in front of them. They are KIDS. They are MY kids. Heaven knows they will make some questionable choices with those genes in play! 😉
So, I should still be encouraged by this verse, because I am in the process of training. It’s not too late. I still have time to train them in the way they should go so they don’t depart. Right? Well what about my friends who have older kids, adult kids who were prayed over and trained up and still made some choices their parents didn’t train them in. What about those kids and those parents? They have this promise in their bibles and I am sure there are days they look at it and wonder where the fulfillment of that promise is.
I’m struggling to believe this promise today. I’m struggling to believe a promise that depends on the choices of a human being for its fulfillment. Maybe I’m struggling with it because I have no control over its fulfillment in the lives of my children. Maybe I’m struggling with it because I don’t always do the best job of training that I am capable of. Sometimes I am just too tired or distracted or selfish to do the training that is necessary. Yes, I am very capable of all three of those things in the same day or even in the same minute!
I want this promise for my children. I want to see this promise fulfilled in their lives today and always. I REALLY do!! I’ll keep fighting for this promise. I’ll keep taking my doubts and fears about it to the only One who has any control over it. I’ll keep fighting to BELIEVE!! Who am I to think I have any control over any of the promises in the bible. They werent’ mine to make or to keep. I just have to keep trusting Him and walking the path He has set out before me. I just have to keep handing my kids over to Him. Hopefully one day I will stop trying to take them back when I get a little uneasy with the direction they are going. They are His no matter what choice they make.
I wonder how long the training process is in the verse and how old is old? I wonder if I am even looking at this the right way? I once heard an interpretation of this verse that had nothing to do with spiritual or moral matters that I think of when I read it. I wonder if that was a better interpretation. Maybe I’ll do some more thinking and praying on this one. I am pretty sure if The Spirit placed it in my heart, there is something important He needs to me to see and understand in it for this season in my life.