So many days I feel as though I'm failing and only giving my children reason to move far from me when they've grown. I do my best to take care of the essentials: food, clothing, bathing, education...
As a Christian mother, I'm also concerned over meeting their spiritual needs.
Will I instruct them correctly in matters of faith?
Will the love of Christ be evident in my rearing of them?
Will I rightly divide the word of truth and present it to them correctly?
Will I instill in them a desire to know truth and seek it?
Will they grow in their faith and lean on God in their adult life?
My lean to verse when I begin to think about that last question...
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." ~ Proverbs 22:6
...gives me peace. Though that verse has grown more and more curious.
"and when he is old" repeats in my mind.
I'm not promised that his youth will be filled with a rooted faith. "when he is old, he will not depart from it."
No matter how perfect I try to be in my daily task of raising my children... perfection will not be achieved. That's true for every motherhood, for every fatherhood. We will mess up and do or say the wrong thing. Even if we don't realize it until they've grown... we will mess up.
Yet, even when we do our best - we are still not promised that they will stay in the way that they "should go" while they are young.
Maybe this is why King David asks...
"Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness sake, O Lord." ~ Psalm 25:7
So what does "when he is old" mean? I couldn't number the times I've sent that question in the heavens. I'm not sure I'll receive an answer while bound to this earthly body... and wondering about that free-will given to us all, including my children.
My wish is that my children won't need to utter "Remember not the sins of my youth"...
I won't count on it, or assure myself and others around me that by raising them the right way - they will always do what they should. Their youth may be filled with wrong decisions and bad choices... but I'm relying on "when they are old".