Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Train Up a Child

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6

Children are my passion -- particularly children in need.  I love them all, want to help them all; I grew up dreaming of a house full of children.  From very early on, I believed that love could fix anything; if love was the foundation of my home, I could not help but churn out successful, well-adjusted, God-fearing children.  When the children of affluent, educated people "went wrong" I would crow, "See, money isn't everything!" or "Plenty of degrees, sure, but college doesn't teach you to raise children!"  When the pastor's children went astray -- "You never know what goes on behind close doors," I would whisper.

Was all that hate talk born out of jealousy?  Maybe. They had, I didn't.  Sometimes jealousy runs deepest when one doesn't "have" because they didn't try. 

Maybe I was scared.  If it could happen to them, what's to keep my children on the straight and narrow?

Was it the arrogance I see in so many parents today?  Technology, psychology, the medical sciences -- all at our fingertips.  It takes a moment for a little education, but a lifetime for a lot of wisdom.

My son is not following the path I desired for him; he is not following the path God laid out for him.  I've played the "blame game" -- holding others responsible and losing sleep because I felt responsible.  I've raged and cried, and even stayed in touch with several police officers and detectives in the hopes that we could "nip this in the bud."  I've turned him away from my home, and welcomed him back like the Prodigal Son.  Sometimes I wonder if it's payback for the judgement I passed on others.  I have learned that judgement is one of those things we gladly bestow on others without wishing anything in return for ourselves.

So I trust and I rest on the promise of Proverbs 22; and I beg forgiveness for pain I may have caused out of jealousy or fear or arrogance.  I remind myself that love is not just the foundation of my home, but love is the groundwork for my relationships with others as well.
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