Will They Truly Not Depart?
When we read Proverbs 22:6 and say a child who is trained up in a godly fashion will always return to his roots, no matter how far he roams, it is true as a general rule, but not absolutely and always true, because every child has his own free will. But there is enough promise in this verse to let us know, when we are raising our children, that it is not in vain; enough promise to comfort the faithful and broken heart when the child strays.
Children are the source of great joy: Proverbs 23:24-25; Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 17:6. They can also be the source of great sorrow. The same man who spoke of children as a joy, as arrows in a quiver and said, "Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them " — this was David, who also moaned those heartbroken words: "O Absalom, my son, my son. Would to God I had died for you! " His son Solomon would have broken his heart, too, if David had lived to see his idolatry. Rebekah said twice in Genesis that the marriages of Esau were a "grief of mind" and that she was "weary of life" because of him.
The waywardness of children is no respecter of persons. I think of a dear friend in the ministry who had a child on drugs, wandering over the country for years. No parent can point a finger at any other parent, for children are not robots who can be completely controlled, even by a loving Christian parent. And I do not wish to heap a pile of guilt on parents who have done all they could to train up their children right, and still the result has not been anything to write home about. There are no perfect parents, but most Christian parents I know truly desire to impart their faith to their children, and do the best they can.
(To read the entire sermon "A Promise for Parents" by Earl C. Davis at Preaching.com, click here)
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