I sat down after a long day and opened my computer up to our local news site. The headline hit me in the heart. A local young person had been arrested. A young person who I had watched grow up in our church. I remember her as a teen having watched as her mom struggled to keep their family together, struggled to provide for the family, and struggled to make sure her children were in church every chance they had. My heart broke for what that mother must be feeling for her child’s decisions.
I told the story of the family to my husband and read him the news article. He responded “our kids are going to mess up.”
Wow. It hit me like a ton of bricks. We spend every waking moment teaching our children right from wrong. We tell them about Jesus. We take them to church. We provide them with a Christian education surrounded by family. But what happens when they are old enough to start making decisions? What happens when they make their own mistakes?
I reflect on people I know. I reflect on myself. I was raised “right” but I made mistakes in high school and college. My brother was raised in the same house as I was, yet made his own mistakes as well. My hubby and his brother are preacher’s kids, but they both made their own mistakes. I see people in the news all the time who have turned to theft, drugs, and much worse – people who I know where raised by good parents in good homes.
But I’ve also seen many (many, many) of these same people get back on track. They get their lives back together and become the people that we all hope our children will turn out to be. They become parents, educators, law enforcement, even pastors. The Bible tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart.”
As parents, we all struggle to raise our children. But we can all be encouraged that God already knows how this is all going to turn out. God has a plan for our children and he knows every step they are going to make. God already knows the mistakes our children are going to make, but he also knows how He is going to use those mistakes to make our children better people.
I encourage you, Mom, to keep the faith as we all raise our children. Pray daily, all day long. Continue to seek God’s guidance in every step we make as a parent. And don’t get discouraged.
God knows what He’s doing.