Forgiveness has the power to create hope even for parents.
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“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
Proverbs 22:6 New Living Translation
I have often struggled with this passage from Proverbs. It evokes two different emotions inside me.
Initially I find myself struggling with guilt. As many of you know, I have three grown sons. I was more concerned about being a good pastor than I was about training my children on God’s path for their lives. I still picture moments when I missed an opportunity to lead them on God’s path.
This feeling of guilt would be overwhelming had not God brought me to the foot of Jesus’ cross. Though there are still consequences for my poor choices, I know that God’s mercy has covered me, and by his grace I’m forgiven.
This gift of forgiveness produces the second emotion that I experience when I read Proverbs 22:6, and that emotion is hope. God isn’t finished with me. God isn’t finished with my sons. His path still remains, and his mercy is still powerful.
For me, the visible presence of God’s mercy is revealed in the next generation of children.
I’m grateful for my grandchildren, not that they give me a second chance to do things differently, but that God allows me to once again invest myself in the those he holds most precious in his heart (Mark 10:16).
Copyright Douglas P Brauner