7 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
2 Corinthians 1:12–2:11
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
Proverbs 22:6 (NLT): “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
Reflections from Scripture:
Proverbs 22:6 is an encouragement for parents to actively train their children in the way they should go. Parents cannot simply delegate that responsibility to others – although too many parents seem more than ready to neglect their duties.
If your child grows up, leaves home, and does well in life, it will primarily be due to your training. So, teach them about the Lord and model what it means to follow Jesus. Then, observe how God has wired your child and point them in the direction that would be best suited for them.
And when they leave home, pray as you’ve never prayed before. Because your job isn’t done yet.
Second, some people treat this verse like it is true all of the time. They suspect that if they train their child in the way they should go, Proverbs 22:6 guarantees that when they are old, they won’t depart from it.
However, that isn’t necessarily true. While the Word of God is truth, we need to be serious students of the Bible to know how to read the various literary styles (genres).
The book of Proverbs is presented as a book of general truths. They are true … most of the time.
The classic texts that illustrate the previous point are:
Proverbs 26:4-5 (NLT): “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.”
If every verse of Proverbs was true all of the time, then the previous two verses would cancel each other out.
But, when we understand that Proverbs is presented as a book of general truths, we realize that when we read the wisdom found within it, life generally tends to happen that way.
When we look back at Proverbs 22:6, we come to realize that it is generally true that a child will continue in the way that a parent trains them. It is a general truth. But, sometimes, godly parents who train their children are heartbroken when that child grows up and rejects their teaching.
But that’s where prayer comes in, parent. Fight on your knees. And don’t stop. Teach your children and pray that they would find joy in walking on the road to greater degrees of holiness. And then keep praying.
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, help me to train up my children (or influence my grandchildren) in the grace and knowledge of You. Help me teach them and show them that following and obeying You will generally lead to a happy, fulfilled life regardless of what hardships come our way. And help me to pray non-stop for them. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.