Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
In reading the book of Genesis and observing the family dynamics of Abraham/Isaac/Jacob play out in negative ways, it is obvious that passing on the faith doesn’t happen automatically. Promoting God’s ways and truths takes work and intentionality, it doesn’t just happen.
When King David was old, and palace intrigue developed over who would succeed him, his son Adonijah manipulated behind the scenes to be the next king. We are given inside information concerning Adonijah, that David “had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” 1 KINGS 1:6
Early on in 1 Samuel, we see that Eli’s two sons are greedy and corrupt, and even Samuel in his old age has to face the fact that his sons did not follow his ways, for they “turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.” 1 SAMUEL 8:3
Along comes Proverbs with some timely wisdom for us. True, there is no guarantee that a godly upbringing in a devout home will produce godly offspring, but the wisdom in this book leads us to see that we play a definite role in the shaping of the children that God gives us to raise. Even the well-known verse above indicates that there is a way that our child should go, a path that leads to life, and one to destruction. Parents provide training wheels that someday once removed, will enable the child to stand on their own two spiritual feet.
This coming Sunday we welcome back Jackson Randall, fresh off of a well-deserved sabbatical with his family. Pray for him as he walks us into discipleship that can and should take place in the home. Pray that we as dads and moms and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and grandparents will take away wisdom that can repair what is broken, and start us on new habits of relating that represent the beauty of Christ and the joy of walking in his ways.