Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. ~~ Proverbs 22:6 NIV
After recommitting my life to Christ little over 10 years ago, I wanted my family to be excited for Jesus like I was. I invested lots of my time in prayer and sharing what I learned with them.
Yet, what really happened is I often turned them off about being excited for Jesus because I used the words of the Bible to try and control them.
No one wants to be dominated and controlled by others. God does not control us and never usurps our free will. So I have not been very Christ-like with my own family.
I read this quote on Sherry Meneley's Facebook page:
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I will no longer be controlling any circumstances…I'm just sayin'
When my oldest graduated from high school and moved off to live life as an adult, my youngest went into public school in order to participate in the athletic programs.
I lost that personal connection of reading the Bible and praying with my boys--both together and individually. One because of the physical separation and the other because life got much busier. I no longer have full control over his schedule.
I rejoice in the fact that both my sons have asked Jesus to be Lord over their lives and both demonstrated their commitment by water baptism. For that I am thankful--so very thankful.
What I realize is I cannot control how they grow in the Lord. I just realized this past week when I saw the quote on uncontrollable circumstances that I have tried to control their spiritual growth and like an over-watered plant, they started wilting.
I must step back and stand on the promises of God. He promises that if I train them in the way they should go, they will not depart from it. Both of them know a lot of Scripture. Yet, their faith and belief must become their own.
I pray for them both. And with the one still at home, I found time to start reading a daily devotion book, Jesus Calling, to him each morning. Discussing it with him if he initiates the conversation and sometimes praying or just remaining silent.
I can pray, guide, love, and discipline, but I cannot make them choose to live for Jesus. Those are circumstances beyond my control.