Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it."
I have heard this verse quoted throughout the years more times than I can count....sadly, I feel that too many "well meaning" adults quote it when they don't know what else to say to parents of prodigal children. I fear that even our own children cling to this verse thinking that they'll "get it right later", "After all, my parent's trained me up in the way I should go." This verse is not a promise...it is a proverb! As a parent, I am not immune to heartache and trials inflicted by my children just as Eli wasn't (see I Samuel 2:12) and neither was David (see I Kings 5:5). Our pastor preached on this several Sundays ago. He discussed how as parents, we can make our children stumble. Read that verse in Proverbs again: "Train up a child in the way he should go...." Sadly, I have not always done this in the past as I allowed my children to watch, listen, and do what I knew they shouldn't, instead of "training them up in the way they should go"....my children will not answer for this, but I will. Our pastor also cited another verse: Proverbs 22:15 says: "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child".....a child is a child, that is why they have parents...so that we may nurture them by providing their basic needs and so that we can admonish them (help them to come to the right understanding). Some children still have foolishness bound up in their hearts and they are not children anymore.....could it be that we are not doing our job as parents?