Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
Many of us who have attended church or read the Bible have heard that verse from Proverbs many times. That was the King James Version of the verse; here is another version of the verse from the New International Version:
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
It’s graduation season for high school and college students. This year (2016) is special to me and my family because this is the year that our daughter graduates from high school.
My youngest child graduates from high school. Wow.
So now I am kind of in a panic wondering if I did enough to prepare my little baby for life after high school. I thought about preparing a list of things to watch out for, but that would probably not be cool (and probably take a few weeks to complete). I imagine I’ve already talked about most of the things that I would put on the list often over the past few years. Many times as she headed out the door I would give final instructions like, “Watch out for this” and “Be careful about that.”
I’m boasting here, but I’ve been blessed with two great kids. By the way, my wife should get most of the credit for this.
It seems just like yesterday that they were starting school and heading there with backpacks almost as big as they were. When I was young, I attended several schools due to my dad’s job, and it was tough for me. So it was important for me to let my kids stay in one school district and we were able to accomplish this. Make no mistake about it; the Great Falls Public Schools are exceptional schools with wonderful teachers.
One rule we had in our house was that our kids had to attend church. They were also expected to serve or volunteer some in the church. They mostly did this and I think that helped them a lot in their teen years. I know it helped me when I was a teenager.
One other thing that helped them was prayer. As they got older and were on their own more, I prayed that God would place other Christians in their paths.
That prayer was answered over and over. Maybe it was another teenager or a young adult or a leader in the church, but God answered my prayers. I will continue to pray for that.
I also prayed hard when they went out at night on their first solo drive or when the roads were slick or when I heard sirens late at night and my children were not at home.
When the lights came on in the garage as they approached home, I thanked God many times for their safe return. Then I tried to act cool as they walked in the door, by saying, “Hey- how’s it going?”
As graduation approached for each of my children, a panic kind of came over me – because I wonder if they are prepared. It’s worse for my daughter’s graduation because she is the baby of the family and my sweet innocent daughter.
As parents, we know that graduation is just another step in becoming adults. With God in their lives, I think they have a good foundation.
Congratulations to all the graduates of 2016!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV