I remember one day years ago when I was sitting with a group of ladies. Our conversation turned to wayward children. At the time Jeffrey was still living safe and secure at home so I really couldn’t relate. After all, we’d raised him the best we could, making sure that he attended church with us regularly. Plus he’d surrendered his life to Jesus and had gotten baptized when he was a young boy.
But they had raised their children the same way…
One woman in particular was really grieved about her daughter who was in her 20’s, and making bad decision after bad decision. And, unfortunately, her bad decisions were causing harm to others.
We were trying to encourage our friend the best we could, and one of the gals told her to remember Proverbs 22:6: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” (NLT).
It didn’t help. She stated those were “proverbs” – just wisdom written by King Solomon. She didn’t believe it was necessarily God-centered truth.
Many of the gals disputed her claim, but quite frankly I don’t recall if I said anything at all, because her words got me thinking: Isn’t everything written in the Bible God-inspired and true? After all, if everything written isn’t truth, how can we know what’s true and what isn’t?
Fast-forward to the present. Yes, I totally believe everything written in the Bible is God-inspired and true. Why? Because our God doesn’t play games like that. He loves His children – remember the sweet song you probably used to sing called Jesus Loves Me? God knows our hearts intimately and deeply. He knows how grieved we get as parents so see our children grow-up and all of a sudden start making dumb decisions.
My husband and I are currently going through this with our son, and yes it does hurt – sometimes a lot. Yet we must hold on tight to our Father’s hand!
Through the years I’ve seen time and again how children raised by godly parents suddenly turn and go in the opposite direction. And God allows them to make bad decisions for as long as He deems appropriate. But our Father has a way of getting their attention – many times through hurt and pain. That’s how they learn.
I think of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-31. This young man fell so low that he got to the point where he was thinking about eating pig slop before he finally realized he needed to go back to his Father.
My husband and I were talking with a man at church the other day who had lost his wife last year. He introduced us to a young man who had come alongside him. It turned out this young man was his deceased wife’s son who had previously wandered away from the Lord. It took losing his mom for him to realize that he needed to get his life in order.
God’s ways are certainly not our own – but we have to remember that everything we go through on this earth is designed to mold us and shape us to not only help others, but also for when we arrive at our Heavenly Home.
Isaiah 55:8-11 reminds us that the words written in the Bible may not always totally make sense to us, but that God has His ways – and His words never return empty. Let me tell you, my husband and I hold onto those words as far as our son, and we do know that somehow – in someway – Jeffrey will return to what he had been taught. It’s just a matter of time.
As for the gal who didn’t believe the book of Proverbs was really God-inspired? I wish I would have thought about sharing 2 Timothy 3:16 which says “all Scripture” is God-breathed and true – which would include the book of Proverbs!
Keep looking up, my friends, and believe.