Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Way He Should Go

"Train up a child in the way he should go, 
and when he is old he will not depart from it."  Prov.22:6

Yesterday I was folding laundry and feeling rather weepy.  What's so sad about laundry you might ask?  I find the little stacks of each child's neatly folded clothes rather sentimental... and tomorrow we leave to take our son to college.   As our family prepares to move forward into this new phase of life I could not help reflecting on another woman I know who let go of her son--Jochebed.  

You might recall Jochebed, the mother of Moses, who released her son to the Nile River.  Years ago I released my son to the big scary world of 1st grade and from there he meandered through the reeds and rushes of his school years.  Now God asks me to surrender him again, to a much greater threat--university.  If God could raise a Moses from the palace of Egypt, could He not bring my son through the halls of a university?  

Over the last year I've wrestled with God over the issue of my son's schooling and wondered, "Is this the way he should go?"  Just this morning I read of another woman who released her son into a less than perfect environment--Hannah.  It is no accident that I read this part of Scripture on this day.  I believe it was meant for me at this time of my life.  As I reflect on my son's  life I'm reminded of those things which led him to...the way he should go.

First, it is training in godliness.  We do not simply fall into godliness, it must be trained.  Discipline and instruction in righteousness lead the child into the path of obedience.  If left alone, the only thing we fall into is sin.  I'm reminded of Eli's sons who by default fell into sin because they were not disciplined in godliness.

Second, it is the bent they are made for.  I'm reminded again of Eli's sons, made to be priests in the house of God, but instead fell from that calling. They missed it for lack of training in the way they should go.

By contrast, I'm also reminded of Samuel, Hannah's son, made to be a prophet of God, and trained for that purpose in,(of all places), the temple of God gone awry.  Samuel was placed in an environment filled with hypocrisy, tolerance, unholy appetite, deceit, and disrespect.  It was a place where the sacred was defiled.  Hannah knew from personal experience the tainting of its leaders.  She was not naive of its dangers.  How could she send her son to that place?  Not by trust in the institution, but by trust in her reliable God.  This was the place God wanted Samuel.  As I send my son into a place which has fallen drastically from its origins on Biblical principles, I'm reminded that this is where God has led him.  Like Hannah, I surrender him to that place.

Each year Hannah sewed a coat for Samuel and brought it to him.  I am certain that every stitch was woven with prayer.  Samuel learned to listen to the voice of God.  Likewise, my prayer for my son is that he may know the voice of God apart from all the other voices that entice him.  Yet to know God's voice, we must know God.  My prayer is that my son might go deeper with God, even in that place.  By faith I believe God will lead my son, not the institution. 

The way he should go...not always the way I expected or what I would plan for him, but the way God had planned for him.

Tyler, I'm reminded of all those discussions in the kitchen, the car, the office, the living room, and your room. I'm reminded of the solid sermons you sat under and the teaching of your church, your family-a precious gift.  Training in righteousness.  Like Samuel, listen to the voice of God, my son.  "...Stand firm. Let nothing move you.  Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."  (1st Cor. 15:58)  Set your face as flint, "..for I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:4)

This is the way.  Walk in it.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your mother's heart with us. This season will be here for us before know it ... Praying now that our babies too will know where to walk!