Over the last five years, I’ve had a series of conversations with my firstborn, Dominique, that have cast serious doubts on the wisdom contained in Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Now, my daughter is both brilliant and beautiful, but sometimes I find myself thinking, “This child doesn’t have a lick of common sense!” Such was the case when she called me the other day, which typically means that she needs some money. To my surprise, our conversation was centered around graduation. She began to tell me all about her plan to move from her college town to another state right after graduation. When I asked her how much money she has saved for this move, she said that she would use whatever money she gets for graduation, as well as her grant money that she will get in the spring. It was the second part of her statement that caused me concern, so I decided to probe a bit more.
“You realize that once you finish your fall classes that you will graduate and therefore won’t be entitled to receiving any more grant money?” I said.
“But I have an award letter that says I get money in the spring,” she replied.
“Yes,” I continued, “I understand that, but you typically get your check after the start of the semester, correct?”
“Yes, obviously!” By the tone in her voice it was clear that she thought I was wasting her time with this line of questioning. I decided to cut to the chase.
“Dominique,” I began, “do you really think the school is going to give you a check that is designed to assist with your college expenses, without you attending college?” To me, this seemed both intuitive and obvious.
Her answer? “Yes. Why not?”
How is it that two college-educated adults can raise a 4.0 student who has all the book smarts in the world, but not an ounce of common sense? So as I go back to the wisdom contained in Proverbs 22:6, I’m starting to think that maybe we’re still in the training phase and my daughter simply hasn’t reached the “old” part of life.
I can’t know where you are in your parenting process (if you are indeed a parent), but I can tell you for a fact that all the things I thought I knew about parenting are simply untrue. Here were my top 3 beliefs that have proven to be myths:
- Every misbehaving child is under-disciplined by their parents. (I can assure you that we take Proverbs 13:24 seriously in the Davis household, so that is not true)
- If you spend enough time with your kids, they will know that you care and listen to everything you say! (It’s hard to write that one without laughing)
- If you model good behavior, your kids will always follow in your footsteps.
Bottom line, there is no perfect parent and there is no foolproof method when it comes to raising children. I do believe, however, with lots of prayer, patience, and persistence, no matter how difficult our children are to raise, one day the Lord will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” to those who stay faithful in the course.
Don Davis is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Don’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/don-davis/
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