My husband Jeff and I took our oldest son, Kyle, to college this past weekend. Although he is a sophomore transfer student at Texas A & M, somehow this was different than when Kyle went to college as a freshman. His first year was spent at a university only 25 minutes away and we saw him every weekend. Now, we may only see him at major holidays and when we are able to go visit him in College Station. I believe it is different this time and will perhaps be different forever.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” – As I thought about the years of Kyle’s childhood, I wondered if I did train him in the ways of the Lord. I was his third and fourth grade Sunday school teacher and led him in an evening Bible class when he was in 5th grade. When he became a “youth” at church, I encouraged him to participate in youth activities and Bible studies and worked as a small group leader at one of the retreats he attended. My husband and I also sponsored him on a Chrysalis retreat, the high school version of the “Walk to Emmaus” and my husband taught him how to handle his money the way the Bible teaches. I hope that as parents, my husband and I have displayed Christian behavior through our words, actions and activities. Did we train Kyle up in the way he should go? I think we did, and now it’s time to let go. Our job now is to pray for him, be there when he needs us and pay for his college education!
One of the things I am praying for is that our son will make some friends. Today, I spoke with Kyle and he told me that an old high school friend from his first high school in San Antonio came into the store that he works at in College Station. Kyle said he always liked this young man and that they will now communicate through Facebook. Through this and many other things that have happened since Kyle was accepted at Texas A & M, I realized that Kyle is truly in God’s hands now and that God is taking care of him.
I believe one of the most awesome responsibilities we have as Christians is to raise our children. We are the first glimpse they have of Christ and many times, if we aren’t consistent in our own spiritual walk, our children will not embrace our faith. It is heart-wrenching to watch a child reject Christ but it’s never too late for them to return to their faith roots. Even if our child has already left the home, we can start today to model Christian behavior. We can be honest with them about our past shortcomings but then share with them how the Lord has turned our lives around. We can pray for our child’s heart to be softened and for them to have a real encounter with the risen Christ. God’s light can reach across many miles, straight into the hearts of our children. We may have missed the opportunity to truly “train our children in the way they should go” but there’s another verse we can claim in Joel 2:25,26 that states, “I will restore to you the years the Locusts have eaten…” Pray for restoration in your life and your children’s lives and know that God is faithful!