All Paths Are Not Created Equal
I'm not much of a nature person. I prefer to be outdoors, I love sunshine and water, but that basically qualifies me to be a beach bum, not a wilderness explorer.
There were a few times when I was small that I spent the night outdoors "camping" in our front yard and once or twice I tried hiking. That, I did not like. Because once I was on a path through the brush and trees, there was no way off the path. I had to follow that wretched thing to the end, sweaty, dusty, all the while swatting at bugs.
This verse is read over and over in church. This verse is both instruction and a promise wrapped up in one.
"Direct you children onto the right path"- instruction. As a mom I have a job to show my kids the right way to go. I'm a mom who works from home, so I get to do this all day from school work, to potty training, to play time, chores and learning about Jesus.
The thing is, not once have I been successful at showing them how to do something yelling directions to them from the couch. Potty training specifically would not have gone over well here...
I have to SHOW them on a daily basis how to do these things- because they've never done it before and WANT to be taught.
It's the same when we teach the things of the lord to our kids- we just simply have to show them how. By being involved and modeling this life in front of them, with them. Makes things easier for me, personally. I don't have to be a professional teacher to teach my child how to love God. They just have to see me do it.
Then there is the promise part:"... and when they are older, they will not depart from it."
Remember that path I was telling you about in my misadventure in hiking? The reason I hated that path was because I couldn't get off it! I had no choice but to be on it until the end.
I am trusting my kids to the lord that he will be true to his promise here. Once we set our kids on the right path, they will not depart from it. There is one part to this verse that isn't mentioned enough, it reads: "when they are OLDER they will not depart from it."
I pray my kids don't have a time in their lives where they go off "exploring" trying to find their own "truth". (Oh my stomach just turned thinking about that!) I pray they always love the lord every day of their lives. BUT, I trust this promise. That should that happen, when they are OLDER, the truth they learned as children, [truth that I taught them, that their father taught them, that we made sure was a part of who they are] will guide them right back on that right path.
Lord, help us to be those who direct the kids you have given to us on the right path. Those who are biologically ours, those you have made us uncle or aunt, grandparent, or teacher to. Thank you for our next generation. Thank you for trusting us with them.