Forest Lake Talks

12/19/22 Devotional from Ed

December 19, 2022

Text: Proverbs 22:6 

Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.

Devotional: In last night's Disciple I class, we talked about some of the "wisdom literature" we read in the books of Psalms and Proverbs, and this particular proverb above was lifted up as one we have seen before in houses, churches, ornaments, plates, etc.

This proverb was reiterated to me this morning when I sat with one of our children in the pediatrician's office and noticed the following poem on the wall (author unknown). If you're a parent/coach/mentor/grandparent/aunt/uncle/teacher, this should hit home:

"When children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

When children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

When children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.

When children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

When children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.

When children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

When children live with security, they learn to have faith.

When children live with fairness, they learn justice.

When children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.

When children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

When children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world."

Consider some of the words mentioned here - patient, faith, justice, praise, acceptance, security, love - can you find these themes (or maybe exact words) in the Bible?

In worship yesterday, we were reminded that God loves us, despite all that we do wrong. Therefore, if we stress the acceptance and love we read about in the Bible, and if we remind our children of the joy that comes from worshiping the God who always loves them, isn't the "training" well underway?

Prayer: Holy God, thank you for the privilege of walking alongside children as they grow. May your Spirit fall upon each of us to continue to model to our children what it means to be a faithful disciple of you. Amen.

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