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promise or hope

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. (NASB)

I am one of those parents who claimed Proverbs 22:6 as a definite promise. I understood that it's inclusion within the scriptures designated it as God-breathed. 

Is it a promise or a possible hope? I struggle letting it go as merely a hope. Yet I just see more and more instances where the children do not follow the parents even into middle-age and even later.

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Replies (2)
  • Hello Tommy. I share your disappointment as I have a 46 year old “child” who once served the Lord and has wandered off. I have been taught that the Proverbs are wise sayings that in general hold true - not guarantees. I think the Lord is saying it is very likely that if we teach our children about the Lord eventually they will come to serve him. I know I made mistakes as a parent but I do know my kids will never forget how we experienced God in our home. I just keep praying. Don’t give up!  I also like this proverb in the Living bible 11:21 “You can be very sure that the evil man will not go unpunished forever. And you can also be very sure that God will rescue the children of the godly.”  Keep living a godly life and believe Jesus will rescue our children!

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    • Hi all. I have witnessed a number of these scenarios even within home-school communities.

      Of course we desire to hope the best for our children - that is only natural. Look at Job - thousands of years ago his main concern was that his children might forfeit God's blessings. Just as many others in Old Testament times did.

      Proverbs are like sayings. Sayings which may or may not be true in every single case. It is often true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away... Yes, they will return to the Lord when they are old but what about the time before that? What if it is years and decades? I don't see a clear answer, myself, with regard to a certain timeline of events.

      What is clear is that our patient prayers are never wasted with regard to our family members. And we, as parents, should find the courage to keep the doors open and to repent of anything we may have done which is possibly hindering them in their spiritual life.

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