Train up a child, continue praying
Every child, whether they turned out wonderful or less than desirable, is to some degree the product of a mom and dad. It’s true that some parents have invested very little enthusiasm into their children’s development, but generally speaking, mothers and fathers dearly love their kids and want the best for them. Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned and many wayward children have caused their family much worry, sadness, and disappointment.
Spectators are quick to blame the parents, but I do not believe that all liability can be laid at their doorstep. Moms and dads have the perfect opportunity to present constructive thinking and a sense of right and wrong into their children’s mind and spirit within the formative years, however this does not always guarantee the child will continue in the direction they were pointed. It’s a common fact; sometimes good parents have children that are rebellious, uncontrollable, and are an embarrassing shame.
Children are like sponges when it comes to learning and are very curious about what they observe, which gives every parent the duel opportunity to not only be the instructors but also the responsibility to demonstrate what they believe in front of them. We must also include that children are vulnerable to outside influences and will choose their own way.
So, how important is it to pray over our children? Many experts agree that the first six years in a child’s life is his or her most important years of mental, emotional and spiritual development. It’s believed that the foundation that is laid within the individual’s conscience during this crucial period of time becomes the decision filter they will use for the rest of their life.
It’s no secret that young parents are inexperienced when they begin raising children of their own, but we can also acknowledge the level of success can be traced back to their own childhood. The generational cycle of curses and blessings are very real and it’s generally accepted that knowledge is transferred from generation to generation (whether it be positive or negative) and is directly associated with behavior. There are exceptions where parents have realized their own lack of understanding and have made it a priority to improve the cycle for the sake of their children. Unfortunately, this is rare. Parents can discover valuable information when they desire to learn but unfortunately this is usually the problem. Parenting requires not only a deeper understanding but also a sincere determination instead of a “rolling the dice” attitude. Again, if the parent has been brought up with an awareness of how important it is to live in God’s presence and obey Him, then most likely these spiritual principals will be passed on to the next generation.
Does this idea of good parents producing good children always work? Well, through the years, I have talked with many broken-hearted moms and dads that are still trying to figure out where they went wrong. They seem to be good Christian people who live a decent moral life, they took their kids to church, corrected them and tried to teach them the best they could. While attempting to console and search for an explanation, this scripture found in Proverbs 22:6, usually finds its way to the surface. “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.” The idea here is to remind us that if good seed has been planted within the heart of the child, God’s living Word will eventually germinate and lead them into His way. Sadly, there are so many bewildered parents who are confused and stressed as they are still waiting for this miracle to take place. What can parents do? First of all we can stand in faith and believe that God’s promises never fail. Secondly, let us realize that everyone has a free-will and is accountable for their own life. When we sincerely repent for our mistakes, God will forgive us and heal us by removing condemnation and guilt. He truly loves you and your child. He has heard your cries and seen your tears and is the only one who can transform a mind and change a heart.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author and community outreach chaplain.