Proverbs 22:6King James Version (KJV)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

“Is this really my child? I just cannot believe that my child, the gift you’ve given me, is behaving like this! Lord, this child has gone stark-raving mad!”

It’s time for some real talk here. Yes, I see the numerous posts on Facebook and other social media sites praising and talking about how wonderful our children are; how proud we are of them. Can we get real for a moment? I have to keep it 100%.

Are there times when you, like me, look at that wonderful child and question if they really are yours? I know I have and I’ve asked the question many times–Am I your mother?

Proverbs tells us to train up a child in the way he should go AND when he is OLD, he will not depart from it. And we teach, and we train, and we encourage, and we motivate, and we continue the process year after year YET the teen or young adult years hit and BOOM! Who is this child we sometimes wonder?

I have read, re-read the above scripture many times and I’ve come to the conclusion that the B part is very significant as it relates to our children’s future. …And when he is OLD! So honestly, what does that mean? I’ll give your my perspective on this.

Oftentimes we, as parents, have instilled in our children morals and values to live by–but they stray. We shake our heads in disbelief, sometimes want to disown them, can’t believe the dumb things that they do. Peer pressure is so real and our children see us (as many of us did with our parents) as old fogeys having only one desire–to deprive them of having fun, not realizing that we at one point were young and some of us–very foolish. We, again or some of us, tried the same tricks that the young seem to think they invented. Been there, done that, and even got the hat and t-shirt.

Wisdom often comes with aging. As a parent it hurts like the dickens to see our children go through some things in life that had they really listened, they would not have to go through. Yeah, some of us can be hard-headed, stubborn and determined to do it our way. We learn one of two ways–by listening to those that have gone before and gleaning from them or hitting a lot of bumps and bruises by having it our way. I’m talking about our young but don’t holler if I am hitting you, as a parent, as well.

Is there hope? Indeed!

Wherein lies this hope? How do I not give up completely on my child and believe that he or she will come to themselves like the prodigal son? Or have a Damascus experience, like Paul? The answer is simple: keep praying, keep trusting God, keep believing, keep fasting, keep encouraging, keep standing in the gap on their behalf and one day you will see it all turn around. There is hope!

Just like our parents shook their heads in disbelief at our silliness and I’m sure wondered if we would make it; shake your head but never give up on that wayward child. I’m reminded of many in the bible who were headed in the wrong direction and how God turned their lives around. It ain’t over until God says it’s over!

And never, ever let anyone, even well-meaning folks, tell you your child won’t make it or it’s too late for him or her or they’ve messed up too bad to turn their lives around. Stand on the Word and say thank you but no thank you! With man it’s impossible but with God absolutely nothing is impossible.

We don’t have to go to the bible alone: we can look at many that God is using mightily for kingdom building that were once ex-addicts, ex-adulterers, ex-felons, ex-alcoholics, ex something’s. The scripture tells us that God takes the foolish things of the world and confound the wise. He did it with me and He’ll do it with them…if they are willing and obedient.

So the next time you look at that mirror-image of you and wonder if they’re really yours, just begin to thank God for the gift He’s given you and praise Him in advance for their healing and deliverance and restoration of sight. Luke 4:18 says that God has sent us to preach the gospel to the poor; to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.

As we daily go about doing our many tasks scratching items off of our to-do list, let us not forget that we are all ministers and while praying for the world, let our prayers begin first and foremost with our gifts God has given us.

Psalm 127:3New Living Translation (NLT)

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.