The Double Back Verse
I was pacing the floor, wringing my hands as I talked to myself. “What should I do, what should I do? Oh dear God (which was not intended to be a prayer), what on earth should I do?”
I was oblivious to the fact my son (who was college-age at the time) was sitting in the adjacent breakfast room watching me march around the kitchen island in a complete panic mode like I had not one lick of good sense. Before I could get to a full-blown melt down I heard his gentle voice speak into my hysteria.
“Mom, why are you worrying so? Have you prayed about this situation? Isn’t that what you’ve always told us to do? Where is your faith?”
He called me out, pure and simple. But his kind nudging set me straight. In that moment I was the child and he was the adult.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I’ve heard this particular Scripture used a thousand times when someone has a wayward teenager or young-adult who has gotten him or herself into some shenanigans, or worse. People quote it in an effort to comfort the parent by letting them know, if they taught their child godly principles early on, not to worry, said child will eventually come back to what they know.
Though Proverbs are principles not promises, true to form, I’ve witnessed this principle in Proverbs 22:6 play out over and over again. Click To Tweet
I’ve also seen the truth in this Scripture work in another way, where it doubles back to bless the parent, namely, me. Over the years I’ve come to adopt a whole new perspective on this verse.
Warren Weirsbe once wrote, “God’s truth is adaptable to new situations and old songs become new songs when new challenges are matched with changeless theology.”
It was always my soul’s desire that my children would know and love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. When raising the boys I took the verse in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 seriously. However, I didn’t think I was doing anything spectacular or out of the ordinary when I mixed Bible stories in with their books about tractors, trucks and Pat the Bunny. I guess maybe, I did go the extra mile by playing the “We Sing” Bible songs ad nauseam in the car. I’m not sure what the kids got out of them but I learned something, the books of the Bible, and in order!
We also did the regular things like saying prayers before bed but we also made time to pray in the middle of the day if a need arose, like a sick friend, lost kittens or an ambulance racing by us.
And we may have had a conversation or two about giving back to God and being responsible.
I came to view this verse in Proverbs differently because instead of rebelling (at least I don’t know that they did) and coming back, my boys stayed the course and as adults, directed me back to clear thinking when perhaps anxiety over something temporary blurred the clear path.
It’s embarrassing to admit that your children might give you advice (teach you what you’ve taught them) but at the same time I’m proud. Numerous times now, my boys have reminded me of the good things my husband and I taught them. They have circled back and reminded us (when needed) of the power of prayer, the profit in good financial planning and the importance of communication when things get tough in marriage.
Whatever David and I tried to teach our boys growing up was intended to help them mature into godly adults so, as the verse in Proverbs says, when they grow old they wouldn’t depart from it. But we never dreamed the principle taught here would double back to bless us. But it has, ten-fold. All to the glory of God.
Looking forward, pressing on and trusting God in every bump and twist in the road.
Tickets are on sale now for the She Found Joy Tour coming to a city near you. I will be in Tallahassee on November 12th with these lovely ladies. Please join us for a night of discovering how to be victorious!