Saturday, March 12, 2016

Known and loved by God

"Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray." Psalm 22:6 (NRSV) 

"For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed." Psalm 139:13-16 (NRSV) 

The first scripture above, Proverbs 22:6, is quoted often to parents, and it is a good guideline for parents to remember as they raise their children.  Often, society looks at a person’s life, sees his or her faults and crimes, and blames the parents for not training correctly.   
Some things that we should remember about Proverbs 22:6 are: 
  1. These words of wisdom were not written by a mother instructing her daughter how to raise her children. The Proverbs were written by an intellectual, someone similar to a college professor in today’s time, who was commenting on society as a whole, not on individual families. 
  1. Proverbs are not promises. Training and discipline are part of what makes a person who they are and how they behave, but only a part. The greatest factor that determines a person’s life is that person’s creation, as described in Psalm 139.   
  1. The scripture in 139 is the promise. God promises that He has known us from the very beginning, not only from the moment of our conception, but from the foundations of the world.   
  1. Finally, Proverbs 22:6 suggests that the training of a child is the responsibility of the parent, but the main part of the proverb is that when the child is old, he/she has the tools to be responsible for their own walk.  
In light of Psalm 139, Proverbs 22:6 becomes a good social guideline to help parents raise children. But what we all must remember that each person who lives, has lived or ever will live was actually conceived in the mind of God at the foundation of the universe. We exist because God loves us and planned for us.     
The promise, the great promise in these scriptures is that God has always known us, loves us, and His grace is sufficient to allow us to live with Him in eternity, no matter our childhood training.