Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
Several years ago I was asked by an elementary principal to observe Grant, a new student in the second grade at our school. The teacher was concerned that he might have some problems focusing in class and could fall behind. She wanted me, as school nurse, to do an observation of his behavior for a few minutes in the classroom.
What I found was a student who slithered over, around and under his desk, chatted with himself and other students and looked over at me and winked “Hey Nurse Nancy. How’s your day going?” – all while the instructor taught the math lesson.
I was sure he hadn’t heard a single instruction she had given and watched as she wrote a math problem on the board and gave instructions.
“Please write this problem down in your math journal,” she told her students, “and I will give you five minutes to see if you can figure out the answer.”
“Eighteen,” we heard a voice instantly say. Shocked, the teacher and I both turned to look at Grant. “What?” she said. Grant smiled. “The answer is eighteen.”
He was right! Even though it didn’t appear that he was listening at all, he actually was.
Today’s verse in Proverbs speaks to so many of us who are praying our children are listening as we share Jesus in a world that is continually preying on their hearts.
First, look at what the verse does NOT say. It does not say that if you raise your children to know the Lord, they will never turn from Him as they get older.
Nor does it say that children who have wandered will automatically turn back to the Lord as adults. We all have the ability to make choices in our lives.
But what it DOES say is beautiful to our ears: teach your child about the Lord. Share the words of Jesus over and over and explain what love and trust, mercy and forgiveness, grace and hope mean. Then, if your child wanders down a wrong path as he gets older, God’s Word will return to him again and again.
He will be reminded in his heart of the love Jesus has for him no matter where he is or what he is doing. In other words, “he will not turn from it” because he will remember what you have taught him.
What about you and your children? Have you ever felt like giving up because they seem to totally tune you out? Do you feel like you are losing the spiritual battle for their souls?
My encouragement to you is this: please don’t give up! Our hope is in Christ alone! What we have taught and shared about Jesus will not return empty.
Just like this little boy who appeared to have not heard a word about his math lesson, and yet he did, so it is for our children and God’s Word in their hearts.
Father, thank you for your encouragement to train my children to know you. May your words stay with them always. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
Have you ever felt almost hopeless because of a son or daughter who has turned from the Lord even after you have shared Jesus for years?
If you have small children, teach them wisdom from the Lord through songs, videos and books and especially from the Bible. Sing along or read along with them. Pray daily for them.
If you have older children, never miss an opportunity to give them a hug and pray over them before they leave for school or on a date. Leave Scripture love notes in their lunch boxes or backpacks or by text on their cell phones. Pray daily for them.
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Isaiah 55:11 (NIV) “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV) “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Mark 9:24 (NIV) “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.’”
Psalm 71:14 (NIV) “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”
(Nancy Hughes will be at the Local Authors Symposium at Crowder College 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2.)