Read: 2 Samuel 18:24-33
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov. 22:6)
Every Christian parent wishes there were a surefire formula for passing their faith on to their children. Proverbs seems to promise that: just train your child properly and all will be well. But life is often more complicated. We all know someone who raised their child “in the way he should go,” only to see him or her walk away from the Lord. Maybe that someone is you. We also know people who grew up in a home where there was very little interest in the church but who were wonderfully converted and are now following and serving Christ. Grace is a mystery, and in the end as parents we should neither shoulder the blame nor take the credit for our children’s spiritual lives.
Listen to King David’s heart-wrenching cry upon hearing of the death of his wayward son: “O my son Absalom, my son . . . Would I had died instead of you.” The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. He was also a lousy husband and father. Perhaps he blamed himself for Absalom’s rebellion, which came within a whisker of costing David both his kingdom and his life. Whether he did or not, he never stopped loving his child. Nor do we. And we can continue to pray that lessons of faith and love learned in childhood will finally return to our children in the end. —David Bast
As you pray, remember your children and those of your church family before the Lord.
About the Author
Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.