You’ve no doubt seen a print of Proverbs 22:6 posted in a church nursery, urging young parents to raise their little ones to walk the straight and narrow, so they’ll stick to the path even when they’re older.
But the women who chose this verse as their favorite aren’t mothers of toddlers. No, they’re mothers with grown children who’ve lost their way.
Susan admits, “I put a lot of faith in this verse, since my adult daughter and son-in-law don’t attend church anymore.” Diana is there too: “My first son is a good man, but far from the Lord.”
Sisters, you have so much company. Don’t lose heart. God is beside your loved ones, just as He is beside you. Even if you don’t have kids, God has a word waiting for you here. Keep reading—and be encouraged.
Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
Start children off… Proverbs 22:6
I’m partial to the King James Version, “Train up a child.” It’s a spot-on translation of the Hebrew word, chanak, meaning to “train up, dedicate,” like putting a rope in a horse’s mouth to show who’s in charge.
Being the parent is the hardest part of parenting.
Loving your kids? Easy.
Caring for their daily needs? Intense, but manageable.
Carpooling them from A to B? Time-consuming, but also a great chance for meaningful convos.
The challenging bit comes when we must “teach” (CEV) our kids how to do life. That means learning how to “direct” (NLT) them, without pushing or pulling. And how to patiently “give instruction” (YLT), instead of just barking out orders (oops).
It is day-in and day-out difficult, but gotta-do-it necessary.
…on the way they should go,… Proverbs 22:6
This isn’t like, “Hit the road, Jack.” In Hebrew, derek means “way, road, distance, journey, manner.” We’re called to teach our kids not only the right destination, but also “the right path” (TLB), the best way to get there.
Kim has accepted the reality that “not all my grown children are currently walking His path for their lives. But I know that God is holding each of them in the palm of His hand.” Count on it, beloved. Jesus said of His followers, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
Now, check this out. “They should go” is peh in Hebrew, which literally means “mouth.” We’re back to that horse, unhappy about chomping on a rope between its teeth. Like a kid who balks at being asked to follow the house rules.
An untamed horse is beautiful to look at it, but of little use to its owner—until a horse trainer steps in. The trainer understands what’s needed, gently but firmly breaking the horse, then training it according to the animal’s natural strengths and abilities.
In the same way, we’re to train up our children “in a way that fits their needs” (ERV), always taking into account their “individual gift or bent” (AMP), looking to God to guide us, even as we guide them.
When we become parents, the word trust takes on a whole new meaning.
…and even when they are old… Proverbs 22:6
“Old” doesn’t mean elderly here. It just means no longer a child. Old enough to make decisions without any parental prompting. Old enough to be considered “grown” (CEV). Not one particular birthday, but “all their life” (GNT).
Sadly, when children reach adulthood, they often decide our guidance is no longer needed. As Marilyn shares, “My relationship with my daughter is on rocky ground, and she wants nothing to do with me. Yet I believe God is faithful. He comforts me with His Word.”
Yes, dear sister. This week’s verse from Proverbs is all about comfort and assurance.
Fear not. God has this.
…they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
That’s a promise we can hang onto with both hands. If we not only teach our children well, but also live out our lives before them in a way that consistently points to the Lord and His Word, the day will come when “they will remember it” (GNT) and “will not depart from it” (ASV). They’ll “remain” (TLB), rather than “swerve” (CJB) or “leave the right path” (ERV).
Sharon confesses, “I have a child that hasn’t spoken to me in over five years. After reading this Proverb, I realize God alone knows the path my son needs to follow.”
Yes, He does—just as He knew all about the desperately crooked path I would travel. If you’ve heard or read my faith journey, you’ll understand why I believe God can and will redeem your prodigal, in His own time and in His own way—which is always the best way.
If He can save a wretch like me, He can rescue anyone. Even if you didn’t raise them to know the Lord, He is able. Even if you messed up a hundred times, God never messes up. “The Lord knows those who are his” (2 Timothy 2:19), and He will make certain they get home.
In the meantime, keep loving them. Keep praying for them. Reach out to them, even if they don’t respond. And trust God to honor His wonderful promise: “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save” (Isaiah 59:1).
Heavenly Father, You are the only Parent who gets everything right. Help those of us with young children to train and teach them, wholly dependent on You. Give those of us with grown children the courage to wait and trust, knowing their lives are safely in Your hands. For those among us who don’t have children, let us be a witness of Your grace to everyone You bring across our path. Oh, how You love Your children, Lord!
Now it’s your turn
- How does this verse comfort or encourage you?
Bless you for clicking Post a Comment below to share your thoughts with us.
A reminder that each time you post a comment from now through December 31, 2014, you’ll be entered to win a lovely prize that features Our #1 Favorite Proverb of the year. One comment per post, just to be fair, but feel free to comment every week.
Minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve, I’ll chose 10 winners at random and give away 5 silvery necklaces and 5 colorful prints. (So fun, to play Mrs. Claus.)
Your Printable of Proverbs 22:6 awaits you, as do all our favorite Proverbs on Pinterest.
Just three Wednesdays left in December—and three Proverbs left to explore. I’ve learned a ton this year. I pray you have too!
Your grateful sister, Liz
For readers who love a romantic time and place: A Wreath of Snow
For children who love a heartwarming story: The Pine Tree Parable
For friends who love being inspired: The Women of Christmas
I’ve messed up much with my children, but by the grace of God, they are all walking with the Lord. What a comfort to know the Lord has them and will never abandon them, no matter their missteps.
Oh Liz, this speaks volumes to me right now as we are grappling with teens–good kids and we have great relationships, but it’s challenging, and our family has its moments! 🙂 I need wisdom to know when to continue leading, when to step back and let them learn things on their own, especially with my 17 year old. This reassures me that as we continue seeking to be good parents and to lead by example, God will keep them in the palm of his hand as they step out in the years to come.
My children are all grown now except for my youngest with special needs who will be my forever ” child ” … Anyway- so hard- on my knees for where a couple of them are right now- so painful to walk with them through these things …
When I first saw in the subject line of my email what this week’s proverb was, I groaned and almost deleted it without reading it. Having raised my now-wandering adult daughter in the faith, I was not in the mood for yet another Christian to tell me what I had done wrong in my parenting to cause my current situation. After reading your post, all j can say is…thank you…thank you…thank you.
I totally get what you are saying about this…I’m right there with ya! And thank God for Liz and her wise teaching which reassures rather than blames. I have two adult daughters whom I think of as prodigals. (as in younger son prodigals, not older, rule-keeping prodigals) Someday it will all make sense…whenever that someday is.
I have 3 wonderful children who were brought up to know and love the Lord. My deceased husband, Ken, and I took them to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday nights. When they became teenagers and bought cars, they seemed to turn away from attending church. Now in their late 20’s and early 30’s, they claim to love Jesus but two of them are not in church. I pray for them everyday. I know God has His Hand on their lives and many of my friends pray for my children.
My thoughts are on my children, but now on my granddaughter….my prayer is that what my son(and his wife) learned as they were raised will make a difference with their daughter, even if they are not following what they know right now. And my daughter and her new husband – he wasn’t brought up in the Lord…..may the Lord bless them in their new lives. Thank you!
This verse is so encouraging to me as a mother of two teenagers, one who loves the Lord, and one who is “on the fence”. I know that God will redeem all the effort that my husband and I have put into pointing them down the right path, and the story is not over yet!
I want to be able to let go and trust God but I still feel the weight of this verse. I beat myself over the head with it. Especially lately…as a family we tend to have those ups and downs. The ‘ups’ are when we make time for the word of God as a family. Have family devotions and prayer. And then there are these downs when life feels so crazy and I can’t reign everyone in! Our four kids (Girl is 9 with three young brothers) have been awful to each other and I think a large part of that is due to our neglect in having family communion with God, that devoted time of prayer and being in His word. It has taken me about 20 mins to write this as I have three sick boys at home who are fighting. I have to go now as my 5 year old told me that his twin brother took Mary and Joseph (from the nativity) and the train set into the bathroom. Oh boy…I guess even those places of the house need God’s touch.
I have never had the blessing to be a mother, but I am an aunt and an “honorary aunt” to many of my friends kids and also have been a preschool and youth teacher at my church so I totally understand the “Train up a child” command. Each time I am with those little ones that I love as though they were my own or were teaching Sunday school – I knew I had to grab those “teachable moments” for they would be few and pass so quickly. I once had a mother of a youth come to me and ask me what my secret was – she had never once seen her child sit down and make out a list of Pros and Cons when making a decision. Her son had even told them to start doing that when faced with a decision! I remembered the lesson we had several Sunday’s before about weighing our decisions carefully for what you decide today will affect your life forever. We even walked through several examples which the kids totally got into. My prayer is that all of us, mother or not ~ realize that our words, our actions and our lives always are teaching something to those who are watching and following behind us. Merry Christmas Liz!
Thank you for sharing this today. My daughter grew up in the Church and attending Christian schools. She has completely walked away from it all at the age of 19. College has been a huge influence in a different direction. I cling to this verse as well the promise in her baptism. We continue to love our daughter and give her mercy and grace as God would do while still upholding boundaries. My prayers revolve around my adult daughter often, and I am so thankful to have loving Father to support me during this time. God is good ALL the time. Bless you Liz!
I needed this today. I know my grown children are in Gods hand but aren’t seeking to follow him. There’s a history there to long to go into. My son struggles with a stronghold but does go to The Lord in prayer I know in rough times . We have wonderful conversations but then I see no change. Both my children are good people but God and church and serving are not a
part of their life. I pray daily for them and this verse helps me hold on to trust that God is in control and has a plan. I have to be patient and wait and have faith.
Being an older mom with a young teen wears me out. I could not get through this without this verse. I trust God totally with my child even though her choices don’t always line up with what I believe she should do. God is good, All the time.
Both my sons received the Lord and were baptized as youngsters. Both are adults now and live on their own but have strayed from the Lord. Thankfully my husband and I have a close relationship with both of them. I pray for them daily and entrust them to our faithful Lord. Thank you for your words of comfort. You’re my “ta-dah” joyfulness encourager, Liz! God bless you!
My son is five and loves the Lord. I take comfort in this verse for two reasons. The first is my son may not be a typical rebellious teenager(oh I pray!). The second reason, if he is a typical teen, he will straighten out as he matures. Either way, God is in control.
Hi Liz. I loved what you wrote today. I needed the reminder of God’s promise in this verse. We have a prodigal. He was brought up knowing and loving Jesus and God but has strayed away. I do know God loves him more than I do (and that’s a lot!) God is working in his life and I thank Him for who He is making our son to be. I can’t wait to see what our son will do for the Lord one day soon. Merry Christmas.
Krystal, your words mirror my thoughts exactly. I’ve often told God that I know he loves my son even more than I do. And like you, I expect my son will be used by the Lord someday. Your comment has blessed me. I will pray for you and your son.
Some of the most encouragement I received as a child came from the single lady across the street from us. She loved and admonished me with a patience that my widowed mother could not give me at the time. If you do not have children, look around and find a child who needs you to help them stay on the right path. If you just listen to them, it means a lot to a child. Christmas Blessings to all!
While I always enjoy reading these explanations of scripture, this one hit especially close to home. Two of my 3 adult children have no interest in following Jesus. They are lovely, productive, good people, but they thing they need most is what they choose not to have. And even more scary, my 2 grandchildren are not being brought up in the Lord. I hold onto Ps. 103 that says, “But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
I pray for their return to Him. I am so proud of them in so very many ways but the one foundational thing, a relationship with the Lord, is missing. It breaks my heart. This is my greatest sorrow, fear, anxiety.
Liz, I really needed this today and need to re-read it often! I raised all 3 children in His way. But the older 2 don’t feel the need to attend worship, the youngest is slowly turning back to God since her marriage. They have all suffered from depression, which in turn makes me feel like I have failed them. I need to be reminded that God has them in the palm of His hand…..I really liked that visual. I know that I have done all that I can and still live my life in the way of God, hoping that they will see that I am happy and able to contend with stressors of the day.
Thank you for all your messages, Liz! I have a whole folder filled with Liz stories, sayings, quotes, etc.! Blessings to you during this sacred season!
Thank you for the way you handled this Proverb. This one always moved me to guilt about the inconsistencies in my parenting. Praise God that He is in charge of this and can redeem my mistakes. Jesus loves my kids more than I do. Although my grown daughters have established their own relationships with Him, my son is still struggling. I trust Jesus for his life.
Thank you, Liz, for these words of encouragement. My first born daughter proclaimed, as a teenager, “I want to show you I can be a success my way, not yours.” She had received Jesus as her Savior as a child and for many years her life reflected the love and joy of the LORD. For the next 30 years we watched with wounded, then broken hearts as her life choices enslaved her. She always assured me she loved Jesus and knew she was saved, but wouldn’t or couldn’t surrender control of her life to the love of God. As I watched her life (and health) spiral out of control I fought against the “if only’s” and other avenues of self blame. God gave me to understand He is sovereign, He knew all the steps she would take and He not only knew how to lead her back to Him, but He had the power to do it. His message to me, which carried me through, was “Put your trust and expectations in Me and Agape her.,”…no enabling or rescuing, just love her with the love, mercy and grace He extends to us through Jesus. God gave me the strength to love her through the loss of everything she held dear. Finally, when she had nothing left, even health, she turned to God, repented and asked His forgiveness. Immediately God showered her with His love and deliverance. Miracles, little and big, came her way. Our family experienced 3 months of restoration before her health declined. We had the opportunity to come alongside her and love her every day until Jesus came for her. At that time the LORD put Isaiah 57:1 on my heart, “…the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” Perhaps, had God healed her body she would have gone back to her former lifestyle…or perhaps she would have struggled with health complications for length of days. Dwelling on the questions would be a futile exercise. Believing that God knows best is life giving. I write this, not to discourage mothers struggling with their role in their children’s lives, but to encourage them to NEVER give up on God, never give up on praying for their loved ones, never give up on loving them. The ache I have in my heart for my daughter is wrapped snugly in the knowledge she is safe and protected in the arms of Jesus. I have confidence we will share eternity together because God keeps His Word. O, come, let us adore Him…CHRIST the LORD!
Liz’s commentary on “Your 50 Favorite Proverbs # 4 All Grown Up hit the nail on the head and was just the assurance I needed to know that God is sovereign and is holding my grown children, daughter-in-laws, and grand children in His hands and heart and is faithful to His Word to keep His promises. Thanks be to God!
I like so many others have son’s who chose the wrong path. I continue to pray . God brought them to their knees. It is hard to be a parent . I knew this verse because my mom quotes it often . What helped me most was a poem by Ruth Graham called the “The Prodigal Son”. I don’t know where it is now because I passed it on to another mother . I can’t remember which of Ruth’s son’s was a prodigal but it gave me hope to keep praying . We bring them up in the way they should go but sometimes they stray. Romans 8:28 teaches us that God is still working in their lives as in ours! Never give up hope !
One of the first verses I ever memorized….and the quote by James Dobson, “If you don’t introduce your children to Jesus Christ, you’ll never see them again” drove me to pray daily that my children (and now grandchildren) would give their lives to Jesus and serve them with their lives. My husband & I lift them up to The Lord daily that He would be glorified in their lives…
Good advice for me to tuck away. Right now our relationship with our teenagers is good. Praying that continues as they strike out on their own.
I honestly don’t know if my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids are believers or not. They are all good people. I raised my daughter to believe. But they don’t go to any church, not that that is a criteria for belief, but the name of God or Jesus rarely comes up in their home. They are great parents, responsible community members, my grand kids are kind, warm-hearted, but I am concerned for them. All I can do is place them in God’s loving hands and trust Him to bring them all home to Himself. Thanks, Liz.
Beautiful teaching my dear Liz. Thank you so much for the encouragement to never give up. Praising God for the truth of His Word & all the promises He gives us to claim. Praise His Precious Name,
A reading that it home, I made so many mistakes raising my children, they are grown up now and it is so wonderful to watch them with their children, showing and teaching that through faith we are saved and faith alone. Our loving Lord forgives us and loves us through the darkness.
Liz, I so heartily agree that KJV version of “train up a child” is much better but for many different reasons. We are model railroaders and chase real trains when on trips and have since our boys were born. My oldest is 46 and has his own children now and they are doing right by the kids. My youngest had a few years in a rough place and I relied on God’s promise in this proverb, prayed constantly, and finally he saw his way back to the Lord and is now very close to Him. This proverb is a must learning tool for all new parents to guide them in decision making.
I often wish that I could go back and do some things differently. We never received the book of directions on how to raise a child in my generation. I did the best I could and tried to be an example of what was expected of them. Somehow when they became men, they walked away from the church. It’s hard to accept some of their ways, but they are of a different world. My sons were best friends until one was married. From then on, their paths parted due to different interests. As I enter into the 9th decade of my life, I would love to have some of the old relationships. They are in my prayers, and so I wait on the Lord. Merry Christmas, the season of HOPE!
I’ve been holding onto this verse a long time. I raised my three sons in the church, but now none of them attend. One says he’s agnostic, another says they’re my beliefs, not his, the other says he does have a personal relationship with Christ, even though his behavior doesn’t prove it. I’ve often wondered is I read the proverb wrong because one version says they will not depart from it. However, all my children have departed from the faith. Thank you for this informative post that enlightens my understanding and renews my hope for my children.
This was a much needed post. Thank you for being that encourager. I know I blew it so many times and wish we had made doing things God’s way more of a priority. It is comforting to know that God has not forgotten all the prayers of my time when my kids were little. Now is prayer time for the grandkids.
Liz, thank you for your encouragement. We didn’t have any children of our own, but we did get to help out and love our nieces and nephews. I grew up with a lot of teaching in church and some at home. However, even after I accepted Jesus, it took me “several” years to even begin to grasp who God wanted me to be. I think that is the way it was for some of us. I just didn’t get it and as you know, we’re all still a work in progress. In the beginning of our walk, if we read and digested only the book of Proverbs and encouraged children to read it as well, I can only imagine how differently some lives might be.
Thank you, Liz! As the mom of a prodigal, it’s so hard to wait on the Lord and watch the mistakes my grown child is making
Thank you for this proverbs study. There is a situation with my children that break my heart. I know God will lead them. It just hurts to see them hurting and suffering.
I loved this tonight as I read it I am still praying for all my children but my son who was the absolute worse teen has returned to The Lord! The other ‘good kids” are struggling so I keep on praying and trusting and witnessing when I can. Bless you and all who commented,
I’ve quoted this proverb for years…and it gives me much encouragement because I have a married son who has seemingly ‘forgot’ about his upbringing. We took our three children to church every Sunday until they all left home. I’m very concerned about my two grandchildren not knowing God and have been praying for my son and his family. They do come to our home every year for Thanksgiving and that encourages me. And this year our little granddaughter was very upset because she missed the beginning of the prayer over the meal. My daughter went to the children’s table and prayed over the meal again with them, which made my little granddaughter smile. I know God was smiling too…a smile probably as big as mine. 🙂
This was great Liz! I will miss receiving these when we are done…
Have an awesome Christmas!
Great post! Love that scripture. Raising a child and depending on God’s Word and His faithfulness is the only hope! I am so thankful I was raised in a Christian home.
So thankful for the reassurance in this verse. I am thankful as well that I am not the only parent struggling with watching teens/young adults make decisions differently than I would wish. This came at a much-needed time in my life. Thank you.
Thanks for the great encouragement Liz! I am going to share this with a friend whom is dealing with guilt over her “prodigal” son. It’s just the perfect “Word” she needs to hear!
Liz, you are such an encouragement!. Even though I thought this one did not apply to me, I could not skip reading it. Glad I did! This verse indicts as well as encourages me. My children are “adults” and I confess that I did not raise them in the church even though I was raised that way. My dh is not a believer and I did not attend church or walk fully with the Lord until my oldest son was out of the house. Still, I always believed and my children “caught” that from the times we talked about serious issues. I am so grateful that they are both believers now. Parenting adults is tricky and I don’t think the “training” ever ends! I am learning with them now and it is amazing to see God work in their hearts and lives, as well as my own. Sadly, my dh still has not seen the light.,,but life is a pilgrimage and it is not over yet!
Thank you for helping me see this Proverb verse in a new light. So many times I feel like I’ve failed in raising my two children because neither one of them has a desire to attend church let alone see the importance of a relationship with our Lord. I keep praying for them and will continue to give them over to the Lord. I’ll also remember that my own mother probably thought the same thing at one time!
Love the encouragement this verse gives me to never give up or lose hope. Remembering that the Lord holds my adult children close to His heart and that He has a plan for each of them that will bring them back to Him. While I wait on Him, I have been given the awesome privilege to have relationships with my grandchildren that allows me time to speak God’s word into their lives and take them to church!! Thank you Liz for sharing this verse in a different way than what I thought.
Thanks for this encouraging proverb. My children are middle schoolers and both love the Lord. My prayer is for his continual hand in their lives. I know he has them!
Thanks for the word of encouragement. My husband & I have recently been encouraged by news that our son & his fiancé (not a Christian) have started looking for a church and by our son’s posting on social media about prayer. It’s exciting to see God at work!
I love this verse. It is a strength to get me through. My oldest was married a little more than 2 years ago. She was raised in the church, she knew the truth. She decided living with her fella (also raised in church ) before the wedding was ok. We quit paying for her college, because that was a consequence of her choice. They just now returned to church! Praise God, and her words to me, it feels so good to be back!
Thanks again, Liz
Many times my children will argue with a rule I have given or a chore I have asked them to complete. They are 14 boy twins. 🙂 My reply is that God has given me a job, to train them. That it is my responsibility as their parent, my assignment from God. This verse has been a cornerstone of our discipline since my boys were old enough to understand it.
I tried very hard as a young, divorced mother, but failed miserably. And, ended up losing contact with my children but Jesus brought them back into my life for a season. Then, they turned away from me for years and my oldest lost her life without me having a chance to say goodbye. Even now, my youngest refuses to speak to me. I still pray for her and my grandchildren. And, reach out to her through cards. So, thank you for this inspiring Proverb; it gives me hope!
I’ve been hanging on to this promise for years. My 37 year old son does not take his family to church and my 35 year old daughter is currently in jail. I keep praying and clinging to this Proverb.
Reading this made me down hearted as I did not raise my children in the Lord. I only gave my life to Jesus last June and I will be 62 in December. My two sons, Jason and Shawn are married with children now. One son, Jason told me 13 years ago he did not want me in his life as I was never a good mother. That broke my heart and I do not know his two girls Kayla and Hannah. Sorry to be negative, but I feel it is too late for my boys. I pray for them and give them over to God and I hope He will send Holy Spirit to bring them to God and salvation also. Wish I knew what I know now and could of been a better mom for sure and taught them all about Jesus. But their father abused me badly and getting through a day was often all I could do. I thought being a good mom was loving my boys and making sure they were warm, loved, had good food to eat and an education. My other son Shawn will talk to me if I call but he never calls or includes me. My heart is heavy……………..
Liz – Please don’t feel disheartened. As long as your kids (and grandkids) are alive, there is still hope. Their salvation is not just based on your performance as a mother. Also, don’t accept their excuses. You did the best that you could as a mother and that’s all God expects. He still wants to save them. Your job now, which is even more important, is to keep praying for them and believing that God’s plan will be completed. Don’t give up!
My sisters all of my siblings are lost even tho they were raised in the church. Thank you for the reassurance they will be saved.
This proverb has always been such an encouragement to me. The father of my 3 and 5 year old daughters was out of the picture, and I found myself a single parent. But God in his mercy didn’t let me raise the girls alone. God became their Father. He helped me raise my girls to love him. I made many mistakes, but God is faithful! Both girls are married to fine Christian men and have given me 10 grandchildren. He will never leave us or forsake our children. Keep praying and trusting!
I’ve clung tightly to this verse for many years. At 52 my son’s life has fallen apart in so many ways. At last, all this is drawing him back to our Lord so it’s all worth it to his mama’s hurting heart. He’s moving far away next week and my prayer is for God to place a strong Christian in his life to disciple him in this tender and tenuous time. Liz, your words remind and encourage. Thank you.
This verse encourages me a great deal. I long to see my granddaughter glowing with the love of Jesus like she did when she was a little girl. She is grown up now and has lost her way.
I love that you said God has this.
How I have enjoyed this year in Proverbs! I’ll be sad when it ends, but look forward to what comes next. This week’s words are especially meaningful.
This verse has always been a grateful reminder to me that God loves my sons even more that I do. They are grown men now and I have watched them sway from their faith only to return. One still struggles but I know God is faithful to bring him completely back to Him. Thank you for your studies.
I’ve held on to this verse while my son was in bondage with drugs in his teen years and early 20s. Thank God he has been delivered from all that!! He’s been clean going on 4 yrs 🙂 He’s not all the way there yet with the Lord but he’s slowly coming back!!
Thank you, Liz.
Well isn’t it just like God to help us and remind us that he has our hearts in his hands!
This post couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you!
I keep praying for my sons who are grown and who are not walking with the Lord. I keep trusting God that He is looking out for them and will bring them back in His time. I serve a faithful God and I know He will keep his promise.
Wow! This hit me right in the heart. My children have strayed from God but I know He is still holding onto them. It was so comforting to read your words, Liz. Thanks for reminding me that He will never falter!
this is a tough one for me I have a son far from the Lord, who used to wake up from his naps singing Jesus Loves Me, who has not spoken to me in 15 years and began returning anything I mailed him. His older brother who is a morally upright good man has been so close to making a decision to follow Christ in the last 2 years it hurts me. Both of my daughters are hurt and disappointed as they struggle to walk with the Lord. I hang on to this proverb and the words a former Pastor used to say to me, “The verdict isn’t in yet. “
Thank you for reaffirming my faith in this verse. When my son graduated from HS he stepped over a brick etched with this scripture reference, dedicated to his grandmother who had passed away the year before. She told me to cling to this verse for our boy. How sad I was when he left the faith in his junior year at a Christian college. Now in his 30’s, I am still standing on this promise-he’s such a good man, I want nothing more in my lifetime than for my son to know His Lord & Savior as an adult, not as a child. I am trusting God that because he was dedicated to the Lord at birth he will return to the right path and dedicate his final years loving his Heavenly Father.
You’re message was Gods perfect timing. Our daughter is a senior in college and home on Christmas break. It hurts to have her behave so distantly to me. We’ve always been close. She told me she’d go to church if I made her, yesterday. Letting go and trusting God is what I’m learning. She’s so close to graduating and being on her own. I’m praying God will be at the center of her decision making.
Oh, sweet Liz–always the encourager. Ever since Scotland prayer and Bible study I have been comforted knowing I was not alone. This post absolutely confirms it. It’s a great reminder that God is bigger than my fears for my children, and bigger than the chaos they are causing. I pray for them and my grandchildren and trust that someday it will all come out right.
Thank you! . I truly needed to hear this. I to, have children that have gone their own way. I hold on to this promise every day, without myhope in Jesus, I could not go on. I Pray everyday for my children’s eyes and hearts to be reopened to Christ love and to remember their first love! I know it will happen in His time.
I grieve for the many days when my children were little and my attitutde was more “I’ve got this God, and what I don’t the church does” instead of on my knees begging daily for God to take the lead.” I humbly pray that they saw God in spite of me.
Thank you so much for this special word. It is just what I needed. My youngest son has turned his back on God and is living a homosexual lifestyle. We are so heart broken and have been down and depressed about his choices. We have asked the question, what did we do wrong. I have known about this verse and heard it used many times but never explained this way. Thank you Liz for allowing God to use you to help someone like me. I love you and am thankful for your ministry. May God bless you richly.
Although my daughter is a miracle baby that doctor’s declared I’d never carry to term, I never gave up faith in God. I prayed for a child and He did indeed give me a Gift thru her. I have continued to pray for her as she has grown into adulthood. Yes, I raised her in church and to know Jesus. At age 8 she professed she loved Jesus and was Baptised. Then High School changed her. She no longer wanted to attend church and by college she had walked away altogether announcing she was “not a Christian”. Needless to say, this has crushed my soul, but I have not pushed – I have prayed! I have also remember this very promise from God and claimed it in the Name of Jesus!
My daughter is a new young wife and a fantastic nurse today. I am thankful to God for answering my prayer that since He gave her to me, may she be a gift to Him and a blessing to this world. And as a nurse – she is doing just that! Praise God! I also began praying for her future husband many years ago. He also was raised to know Jesus, but has never truly known Him. So, my prayers include her husband now as well.
I choose to have faith in the Lord. He will keep His promise.
Thank you for this, Liz. Your words have encouraged me. I’m so thankful God continues to bring the prodigals back to their senses, to turn their hearts toward home.
As a mom with 5 kids from 3 to 11 your words here motivate me to be even more intentional with my opportunities and time so that I am training them up right. Thank you for this encouragement!! Blessings!
Oh, Liz, I so needed this encouragement, this perspective. My son has not spoken to me in almost three years and I don’t know why. As parents we have agonized wondering and praying to know where we went wrong, what would have made a difference. Tolerance of an atheist attitude, submission to my way is the only way so agree with me, to not being free to share my own thoughts if they differ from mine? Those things we could not do so visits were difficult at best. And then came the break. His doing, not ours. And so we continue on, praying something will happen to change things. This devotional gives me hope. I always thought of it in terms of rearing young children, not considering it from your perspective. So thank you again for reminding me to trust that The Lord will take care of him and heal our relationship in His time.
I love this verse. I just feel very encouraged to teach my children and make sure they have a strong foundation in Christ and then even if they stray, I pray that they will come back to it. It really gives me peace of mind and reassurance. Love your encouragement always. Merry Christmas!
He is the God of the second chance and we have been given just that, not only with our daughter but also her partner. The have recently move just an hour away,how wonderful is that. This time we wont go in feet first and blow it but prayerfully tho love and encouragement we will draw them back to the Lord.
Thankyou for your book Rise and Shine what a refreshing way to start the day.
This verse has bothered me since my kids became teens and young adults. I feel there should be a pause between “Train up a child…………..and when he is old he will not depart”. It doesn’t mean that he may never waver or go wayward for a time. Many do go through a time of testing their faith and such but by God’s grace they come back, When my son was 17, he began to go a different way and get away from God and has been through some difficult times, but he is 20 now and more on fire for the Lord than even I (his mother) am. He found a church that he fits in and feels at home in and has taken off. So you parents who have a wayward child–keep the faith and trust in God to bring them back in His time. God is working on them and has a purpose for their life and even for them as they go astray.
Although my son is shortly turning only 12…I am watching the ugliness of this world creep into his life…by the questions he ask regarding things in school. I found comfort in this blog, knowing that I can only do what I can, by teaching him the ways of Jesus, showing him through my walk with the Lord and keeping him in church. More than ever, it’s so important that we stay on top of our kids…the evil in this world is getting worse. Thank you Liz… Great blog to keep handy as I move into those tough years of being a mother of a teenager.
I so appreciate these words! We tried to do everything “right”, consistent church attendance and involvement, protection from too much or inappropriate media, even home schooling and Christian school. Our oldest suffers clinical depression, which is enough challenge, but has also completely turned away from even believing in God. The one ” person” who could really help him, he won’t even acknowledge. We have been told by a pastor (who has no children) that we must be bad parents to have this happen. Thank you for not saying this!! Bless you.
Thank you for this. I was preparing for our church’s Christmas concert last night when my son called and filled me in on a need he had. After that part of the conversation ended I reminded him of the concert that his dad and I were both in. Ugh…setting my expectations too high once again led to disappointment. Funny, my disappointment turned into an all out temper tantrum before The Lord once I got off the phone. As the gospel message was being given, I asked The Lord to forgive me and once again surrendered my son into His care. I needed these words today!
I am not a parent,but this makes me appreciate the work of parents and others who invest in children!
Your post has given me more comfort and encouragement than you can possibly know. I have been praying desperately that my sons will know and love the Lord Jesus. One of my biggest regrets is not having raised them to have a relationship with God (having really begun my own personal relationship later in life). Your reassurance that God loves them and I can trust His plan for and with them. I pray that I will have the joy of knowing they are following Christ before my time on this earth ends. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Such a great perspective on a passage that I cling to as we wait for the Holy Spirit to move in our adult son’s heart. Thank you for this encouragement.
I just got a chance to read this in all the beautiful business of Christmas . Your words have touched my heart deeply , Liz. I realized that I just don’t go there because I’ve given my son over and I praise Him that we still have relationship. But sometimes I ignore the pain instead of giving it to Jesus. I can’t help but think of the beautiful faith chapter and how Abraham believed God even when he didn’t see. I put my trust in Him. He is perpetually faithful. Merry Christmas , Liz. You are beautiful !
Thank you, Liz, for your encouragement. I have a 14 year old daughter who is expressing a “crisis of faith”. I am trusting God and grateful that she is comfortable telling her Dad and I about her doubts. We are showering her with love and encouragement as we speak God’s truth into her life…..and trusting Him….and praying that He will give her understanding……..and the hardest part: waiting on the Lord. She is very involved in our church in youth group and service in ministry, attends a christian school and proclaimed Jesus as her savior at 7 years old. I remember having some of the same questions and doubts she is having now.
We have 2 older sons, 34 ( almost) and 31. My husband is a preacher and has pastored most of our boys home years! The oldest has been in ministry as Yourh pastor, and many other roles of service- the younger has been off the eaten path for13 years now ( including serving Iin the army in two war zones) and has just recently made the choice to start attending church again! He’s taking steps to bring himself closer to the Lord, as the Holy Spirit prompts him! (Mama’s through trying to prompt him) I do claim this verse over my son’s life and continue to pray for God’s path in both of our sons lives!! Thank you for all your encouragement Liz!!
I have two sons. One works in ministry and so I don”t worry about him as much but his younger brother while not totally a prodigal seems to be slipping further away. This bible verse is so encouraging no matter what happens God is in control. I pray for both my sons and their families every day.
Liz – Your verses and explanations and encouragement have blessed me all of this year. I really appreciate the gift that God has given you, and thank you for sharing. Also, I so enjoy the blogs after, as other women share their thoughts. This time really hit home. My “Christian” daughter (now 22 1/2) left home at 18 with no notice and doesn’t want anything to do with us (mom, dad, 2 younger brothers). No visits, no calls, no get-togethers. We can’t even know where she lives (although we know it’s not that far from us). Although we have found out that she is involved with a deviant lifestyle, drinking, and perhaps drugs. We were so shocked. I couldn’t talk about it for 2 years. She did get in touch with my extended family and they have accepted her, which has left us out of family get-togethers, etc., because Samantha doesn’t want us there. I have always held on to this verse, however, and know that God has a plan, and that there will be reconciliation and restoration. It is God’s strength that gets us through. It was great to read about so many other women who have gone through/are going through similar experiences. I don’t feel so alone. Thanks again, everybody, for sharing. I will add all of you and your children to my prayers.
I take comfort in knowing that even though I’ve screwed up many times, I know my daughter walks with the Lord. My sister-in-law continues to pray daily for three of her boys who have strayed, but I she remains strong because she knows the boys will return to the Lord because they were raised up on the Word.
My children are young, 6, 4, 13 months, and I pray they will follow the Lord. I know I need to do a better job showing them Jesus. There are so many good books and I’ve read them, but really…..it must come from Jesus living in me. That is my simple prayer for me: more Jesus.
My children are all grown up and this verse was and is still a favorite, and I can testify that all 4 of our children and their spouses love the Lord and have not departed from the truth.
We took this verse serious and thaught our children His ways.
Some of our grandchildren also do, and I know the others will come back to His fold. I have so,loved this study. Thanks Liz, looking forward to,the new one in 2015. Happy New Year and blessings.
So encouraging to know The Father parents our children and knows what they need and when. I must trust Him.