The Relational Tightrope
Posted on October 5, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
This is a verse we love and have quoted hundreds of times all the while seeing before our very eyes children of all ages who don’t fit the formula. This is not denying the veracity of Scripture. A proverb is not designed to be an absolute guarantee. Rather, it is a helpful guide for wise living.
Christians much wiser than I have written volumes and preached impassioned sermons on this text. I want to raise a question which is a present dilemma for hundreds of Christian parents and grand-parents.
But let’s begin at the beginning. Did you, to the best of your ability, train up your child?
- Did you pray with them at night as children?
- Did you read the Bible with them?
- Did you teach them Bible stories?
- Did you memorize scripture together?
- Was going to church and Sunday School (or youth group) a pattern of behavior?
- Did you spend quality time with them? Did you eat meals together?
So now they are grown and not following the Lord. What do you do?
- Your daughter is living with some guy.
- Your son is on drugs.
- One of the other kids is an alcoholic.
- They show no interest in anything spiritual, or worse, they are in a cult.
- One of your kids or grandkids is in jail.
- For any number of reasons they are estranged from you.
Dear friends, this is reality. Most people in your church are not going to discuss this openly because they are so wounded and embarrassed. One statistic says that 88% of young people brought up in the church leave it after age 18!
When this happens to you, what do you do?
We have a saying in our house, “relationship is better than being right.” I’ll never gain a meaningful conversation if I am contentious and antagonistic with a wayward child regardless of his/her age. Rather, I have my convictions of which they are aware, but I let them know they are loved regardless of their lifestyle and I want the best for them. Further, I want a relationship where there is future opportunity to continue the discussion rather than silence and a strained relationship.
The other thing to do is pray without ceasing. Don’t allow prayer to be your last resort, but when it is the only resort left, use it to its fullest extent!!! Passionately plead with God for them.
Written by Rev. Neil Fitchthorn Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.
Daily Quote:“Good family life is never an accident but always an achievement by those who share it.” James H.S. Boussard
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters.” Jeremiah 17:13