Recently, my 5-year-old son Seth got angry with me. The incident was partly my fault (for not giving Seth my full attention) and partly his fault (for not being obedient). I gave him a timeout, but when he returned he was still miffed. I could tell he was searching for something to say, for the words that would deliver the best blow. "Dad," Seth said, "I don't believe in God anymore." Obviously, Seth was not facing a crisis of faith. But he was asking something like, Will you talk with me, engage my heart, and discover what's not right in my soul?
The oft-quoted Proverb (22:6) offers distinct wisdom for how to nurture children. The proverb encourages parents to pour their energy into the long art of discovering the intimate contours and unique textures of their children's hearts. When the wisdom writer instructs us to move our children toward the life-path they are to walk, he invites us to the hard work of discerning the "right path", the best way to instruct them based on their distinct personality, gifts, and inclinations.
We understand that this "right path" includes leading them down the spiritual and moral path we all are to walk. Teaching them to be diligent, honest, and submissive to God. Directing our children from foolishness to behaviors that He desires (v.15). The verse, however, adds this clarifying touch: The "right path" instruction includes taking into account the uniqueness of each child. So as we raise and educate them, we should recognize how they're wired, using the best ways for them to individually grow and mature.
Throughout our lives, God has uniquely sought and taught each of us, presenting to us His timeless truths in ways that acknowledged our individual designs. Our children need the same kind of "right path" instruction from us. , Winn Collier, Our Daily Journey
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