Parenting requires faith to let go and hope to stay sane.
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Train a child in the way he should go,
and even when he is old he will not turn away from it.
Proverbs 22:6 God’s Word to the Nations
You’ve gotta wonder what this hen was thinking as her duckling walks away from her. “Why can’t he just stay still for a few minutes. I can’t take anymore of his wayward ways! God I need a break!”
Or maybe she thought something completely different. “She’s in for a surprise when she reaches the end of the log. Let’s just see how far she’s willing to wander before she panics.”
Raising children isn’t for cowards, crybabies and wimps.
Everyday our children walk further and further away from us. Daily we hand over control of their lives into their own hands. At times we panic and at times we watch.
Many of us have memorized this proverb as we raise our children. We want assurance that our children will not “go astray,” and that they will stay on God’s “narrow path,” but we cannot control them. As we give our children authority for their lives we also give them responsibility. It’s what we do even when it scares us, breaks our hearts, and nearly sends us to a mental institution.
The Hebrew of this proverb is a little more explicit than most English translations. “Train (or, Dedicate) a child on the mouth of his way…” I know that sounds awkward, but it’s a good picture of what we do as parents. We start the process by bringing our children to baptism and training them on the beginning of their journey of faith. We then trust that God will do his work in their lives.
As we let go of our child and watch them walk away from us on the log of life we do so with faith and hope in the one who will never leave them.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner