Can I Come In?

Little five year old boys don’t usually want to play with girls putting on makeup – unless it is boring because there are no other boys around. That changes everything. At least it did for Jude, my grandson. My four granddaughters had locked themselves in the... read more

My Mother’s Christmas Wish

Devotion: When I was a little girl, the number one question I asked all my family before December 25th was “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked my sisters and my brother, my mother and my father. It was a huge question for me because my funds were limited to a small... read more

A Constant Reminder

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

I was asked by an elementary principal to observe Grant, a new student at our school. The teacher had serious concerns that the boy might have some problems with staying focused in class and wanted me, as school nurse, to do an observation of his behavior for a few minutes in the classroom.
What I found was a student who slithered over, around and under his desk, chatted with himself and other students and looked over at me and winked “Hey Nurse Nancy. How’s your day going?” – as the instructor taught the math lesson. I was sure that he hadn’t heard a single instruction that she had given and watched as she wrote a math problem on the board and gave instructions.
“Please write this problem down in your math journal,” she told her students, “and I will give you five minutes to see if you can find the answer.”
“Eighteen,” we heard a voice instantly say. Shocked, the teacher and I both turned to look at Grant. “What?” she said. Grant smiled. “The answer is eighteen.”
And he was right! Even though it didn’t appear that he was listening at all, he actually was!
Today’s verse in Proverbs speaks to so many of us with prodigal children. First, look at what the verse does NOT say. It does not say that if you raise your children to know the Lord, they will never turn from Him as they get older.
Nor does it say that children who have wandered will automatically turn back to the Lord as adults.
But what it DOES say is beautiful to our ears: teach your child about the Lord. Share the words of Jesus over and over and explain what love and trust, mercy and forgiveness, grace and hope mean. Then, if your child wanders down a wrong path as he gets older, God’s Word will return to him again and again.
He will be reminded in his heart of the love Jesus has for him no matter where he is or what he is doing. In other words, “he will not turn from it” because he has heard what you have taught.
Please don’t lose hope! What we have taught and shared about Jesus will not come back empty. Just like this little boy who appeared to have not heard a word about his math lesson, and yet did, so it will be for our prodigals. Thank you, Lord.

Father, thank you for your encouragement to train my children to know you. May your words stay with them always. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Have you ever felt almost hopeless because of a prodigal son or daughter who has turned from the Lord?

If you have small children, teach them wisdom from the Lord through songs, videos and books and especially from the Bible. Sing along or read along with them. If you have older children, never miss an opportunity to give them a hug and pray over them before they leave for school or on a date. Leave Scripture love notes in their lunch boxes or backpacks or by text on their cell phones.

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Isaiah 55:11 (NIV) “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV) “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
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Copyright 2010  Nancy E. Hughes