“Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.” Proverbs 22:6 (New Living Testament)
Many years ago when my son was in high school, one of my neighbors shocked me when she asked how I managed so well to have a teen-age son who never got into trouble. She went on to say I always seemed so calm with my kids and not worried about anything. She wanted to know why, what was my secret?
The surprise was not her thinking I had good kids. My husband and I thank God every day that they gave us few problems. But I knew all too well that we were NOT perfect parents. I lost my temper and yelled and screamed as much as any mother. I made impossible demands on them and had to repent daily. Too often I was anything but calm.
After I had picked my jaw up off the floor, I tried to give her the best answer I could – “I don’t know. It’s not me.” That was the truth. It was not me. It was God and His faithfulness. I shared with her that I prayed for my children daily and then left them in God’s hands. My husband and I took them to church and taught them at home. That was the best we knew to do.
It’s never easy being a parent, and being the parent of teen-agers is especially challenging. It was hard in the late 80’s when my son was in high school and it was harder in the 90’s when my daughter was in high school. The challenges and temptations that face our children today are even greater. But God does not change. He is faithful and His word is true. We can rely on Him to guide us through every situation. There were days when it didn’t look so good for one or the other of my children. Those were the days when I had to just trust God that His Word would not fail and that His promises to bring my child back would come to pass. I had to believe the Word more than I believed what I saw.
Jesus said, “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about what to say in your defense, for the Holy Spirit will teach you what needs to be said even as you are standing there.” Luke 12: 11, 12 (New Living Translation)
Most of us here in the United States will never be brought to trial for the gospel, or be called to account before authorities. Sometimes the one judging us is an angry teen-ager. Maybe the one we need an answer for is a defiant child.
My daughter Rachael thanked me a couple of years ago for something I’d forgotten had even happened until she reminded me. One Friday night she’d made plans to go with some friends to a party. When she came out of her bedroom to leave, I took one look at her and told her to go change clothes. She had on a skirt she’d borrowed from a friend that was so short no way could she sit down without exposing her backside. She pitched a fit, said there was nothing wrong with way she was dressed. I stood my ground and gave her the option of changing clothes or staying home. She continued to argue so I told her she was grounded. She stayed home and pouted the rest of the week-end.
When my daughter and I were talking about this, she told me that she remembered telling me she hated me that night but how sorry she was now. She thanked me for not giving in because now she understood why I was concerned and that I was acting out of love for her.
WOW! That’s the best gift any mother could ever have.
Yes, God is faithful to His word. His Word is true. When we obey our part, He will do what He has promised. My job was to train them up. God’s job was and is to keep them on the right path. God is no respecter of persons, what He’s done for me He will do for anyone.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth” Isaiah 43:5, 6 (New International Version)
It doesn’t matter where your child is, pray over them and put them into God’s hands. Remember God loves them even more than you do. Trust Him to bring them back if they’re gone astray. Trust Him to save them if they’re lost. God is faithful and what He has promised, He will do.
Peace and blessings.