Direct your child to the right path… but what if they DO depart it?

The scripture says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” We who are Christian parents take this as a very serious edict, a mandate for how to rear our children to adulthood, a promise that if we do right, our kids will always live godly lives.

Teaching them what scripture says, how to behave, how to follow their God-given passions is what we do. It’s right and good.

What happens, though, when your child becomes an adult and doesn’t follow the path you directed them on? We feel like failures and worry for our child’s life sets in. I understand.

Allow me to invite you to read the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. There you’ll find life stories of sons of good, godly upbringing turning completely away from God and working against all His commands.

See, we’ve been taking this verse in Proverbs 22 as a promise, when it’s not. Solomon knew what it was to be a son who sort of, kind of, followed his upbringing and seeing sons of the same father choose death over life. (See Absalom and Amnon.)

This verse is not a promise, it is a generalized observation. Most of the time, a child follows the path the parents have guided them on. Sometimes, though, all the scripture teaching, all the God-following leadership can be tossed aside by the child-turned-adult and the path left behind.

Parents, if that child you raised has left the path you set him/her on, do not blame yourself. God very plainly says that people own their choices. We are to be obedient to all He tells us to do, and consistently turn that child over to Him. They may not live the way we trained them up to live, but we can rest in the truth that we planted in them what they need to live the life God intended and He is perfectly able to handle them if they don’t.

Why is this important to grasp?
Because, Parent, you still have life to live and purpose to fulfill. You have a mission in life beyond being mom or dad, and you need to be obedient to that, not lamenting the behavior of another adult—even if it’s your child.

Let’s start today. Let’s lay that child, no matter their age, at the Lord’s feet and trust Him to handle their path and their instruction, while we seek Him to know what we’re supposed to be doing. Make the move today to be obedient in the mission for which God made you.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

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Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!