Today’s Scripture: Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

We all want our kids to succeed in life. The question is: Which life are we focused on them succeeding in? Are we intent on seeing them soar in their Christian life or in a worldly life of popularity and financial security? Often, rather than looking ahead at the eternal outcome of how we raise them, we only focus on the day to day. “How is your school work? What do you mean you no longer have straight A’s? How do you expect to be the team captain if you don’t spend more time training? You are never going to make it in music if you don’t practice more!” All of those things hold some importance, but the real focus should be on how their walk with the Lord is going.

If we could ask King David his opinion, he would agree whole-heartedly. After all, he raised Absalom. This boy turned out to be the best looking man Israel had ever seen. Athletic, intelligent, confident, he was born to be a leader. He was everything a mother and father could hope for…or was he? Although he appeared perfect on the outside, he was as ugly as sin on the inside. Absalom wanted something that his father had. He desired the kingdom all to himself, and he would do whatever it took to get it, including causing his father to flee for his life. After Absalom stole the people’s hearts,┬áIsrael’s greatest king ran from a man who was nothing more than a fake, and that fake was the boy he had raised.

It doesn’t matter how nice looking our kids our if they are not going to serve the Lord. Sometimes we are so blind. There are times parents don’t want to realize how bad their children are becoming. Friends, wake up! If someone has an issue with our children, we need to take the time to look into the matter. To this day, Jewish mothers pray not to have an Absalom. We need to know what is going on in the hearts and minds of our children. Failure to direct and chasten them just because they excel at sports, school, or music is just that-a failure. It is not easy to hear, but we will be glad in the long run that we heeded counsel and took the time to look into their lives before it was too late. Today, what are you raising?

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder