The Joy and Grief of Training Up a Child


We are responsible for training up our children in the way they should go. If we do this successfully, we will probably still rejoice when they are wise and grieve when they are fools, yet perhaps we can do it without the personal pride or guilt parents often feel…

1 A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
Proverbs 10:1

In a chapter of proverbs contrasting the ways of the righteous and the wicked and the blameless and the fools, we see the impact on parents in the very first verse.  When a person acts with wisdom and understanding, he brings joy to his father.  When a person acts like a fool, his mother experiences grief.

Have you seen this play out?  I have. Those of us who are dad’s know that when our children (even adult children) make wise decisions, it brings us joy as a fulfillment of all the training and support we have provided to them to help them succeed.

When they act the fool and bear the consequences, it’s typically the mom’s who feels the hit.  Mom’s often grieve the wrong choices their children make, even more than dad’s.  In fact, the feeling is often personal embarrassment and guilt as if the mom was the one who acted the fool.

Stated simply and painting with a broad brush, act wise and Dad will rejoice and maybe even take credit; act the fool and Mom will grieve and probably take responsibility.

And we know from Ezekiel 18:20 that the truth is that each person is responsible for what they do before the Lord.  Not only are we not responsible for their success, we are also not responsible for their failures. We are responsible for training them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).

If we do this successfully, we will probably still rejoice when they are wise and grieve when they are fools, yet perhaps we can do it without the personal pride or guilt.  That’s no way to live…

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

 

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