I used to believe that this verse meant that if we taught our sons right from wrong they would never choose wrong. I mean, that’s what it says, right?
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.“ is pretty straightforward.
Except it’s not.
If I could go back to the early days, I would focus less on the moral and more on the spiritual. I would teach them to love Jesus and let Him guide and direct them throughout life.
Don’t get me wrong! My grown-into-men boys are good, decent, hard-working men. This is about me. I harped too much on things that while important weren’t the most important.
If I could go back, I’d spend time listening to their dreams instead of getting upset their rooms were messy. I’d ride a bike with them and talk about what we’d be when we grew up – even before homework. I’d read a book with them and talk about it – even after bedtime.
I’d be more concerned with molding their dreams together with God’s plans for them. I’d speak more life over them.
Imagine if our children had a fuller understanding of how much we believe in them – not their talents or capabilities, but them – and how much God believes in them! With that core knowledge, they might encounter other paths, but the likelihood they would leave the one God laid out for them would be minimal.
I once had a discussion about this verse with a very wise woman at a time when our three were going through a rebellious stage. She is a wonderful example of the mature woman of Titus 2:3 and her sons were my age, so I sought her thoughts.
“Now, Faye, we pour all we can into them, but then we have to let them go and just love them. They may not do things the way WE want, but we can trust God to direct them, correct them, and help them. And remember, we don’t know how old “older” is.”
Thank you, Mrs. Billie. I needed to realize that I was responsible for getting them started on the right path, but God is responsible for keeping them there.
And I DON’T know how old “older” is. I think it’s different for everyone. I chose to follow Jesus at 13, wandered when I was 18, and returned to the path at 30. My parents taught me right from wrong and how to be kind to and have respect for others. There was that period, though, where I had to figure some things out for myself.
It’s not too late, parents. Whether your “baby” turns 4 or 40 this year, take the time to pour life and hope into them. Speak these powerful words to them often:
and watch them soar.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.