Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3 - Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way they should go,
and when they are old, they will not stray.
Proverbs 22:6
This is arguably the most famous Proverbs.
And many look at Proverbs as promises, guarantees. And if and when a well-trained child goes astray -- and because of sin, too many do -- too many parents feel betrayed by God. 
Proverbs are not promises. They are nuggets of wisdom. In general, if you raise a child well, you get good results. In general, if you allow your child to be subjected to dubious values, disoriented friends, and damaging abuse, you get dangerous results. Occasionally, some children of broken environments will absolutely soar -- God can redeem anything! And occasionally, some well-raised children will stumble, fall, and break their parents hearts -- the wages of sin is heartbreak, and hopefully not worse. But in general, we know this age-old wisdom is true.
But here's the most important part: This proverb deserves to be a very comforting word to parents in the midst of the terrible two's and the teenage trials!
Almost every parent has experienced happy days of drifting lazily down glorious stretches of the Grand Parenting River. And almost every parent can tell you about times when that lazy river turned suddenly into a harrowing stretch of rapids. Many of us have feared for our children's health, virtue, and/or life. 
And here's the good news -- and it hearkens back to this Proverb -- generally they get through it!!! Very few white water rafting companies lose too many passengers. 
While we'd generally like to rescue our child from most of the wild rides, sometimes the best we can do is just hold on and get them through it. And remember ... that in general, if we train a child in the way they should go, when they are old, they will not stray from it.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who believes that the hard work
of training a little child to canoe -- up-front --
usually makes the rest of ride toward adulthood
much less stressful

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