Children can’t build their own foundations

Today’s verse is Proverbs 22:6.

6 Direct your children onto the right path,
      and when they are older, they will not leave it.

I’m not going to take a long time with this one, mainly because this is so straightforward I don’t think I have much to add to it.

If you, as a parent, make sure that your children have a solid biblical foundation, when they are older they will continue to build on it. That’s basically the concept here. It’s not a hard one to grasp, but then why do so many people have a hard time with it?

I know a lot of people who believe that they shouldn’t force any beliefs on their children–that they want to let their kids decide for themselves. And a part of me can understand that. But there’s a big difference between foisting religion on our children and neglecting to help them establish a biblical foundation of truth.

Everyone has to have a foundation. Just like a building. And if the foundation isn’t strong, the building won’t be either. If any of you have ever been to my house, you may have seen my garage. It’s an old cinderblock building. I don’t remember when it was built. It’s pretty big though–technically a four-car garage. And when I say four-car garage, I’m sure everyone gets these grand images but stop before you get there becuase this old garage is falling apart. I mean, it’s still solid enough that the insurance company will insure it and–wow!–if the winds this year didn’t knock it over, I don’t know what will. But it isn’t that my garage has bad walls or a bad roof. The biggest problem with my garage is its foundation. The concrete slab doesn’t have any reinforcements, so it pulls apart and expands and contracts and when it does that, the whole building starts shifting around.

It’s the same in our lives. If we have no foundation, our lives have no shape. And maybe that concept works in art, but it doesn’t work with a human life. Because as fuzzy as people would like to make our lives, we still have to make real choices.

Children need to know that there is right and there is wrong. And from a very young age, they need to understand that God not only exists but wants to play a role in their lives. Because they may not truly grasp that fact as a child, but when they get older, they’ll remember it. When they start building their life on the foundation their parents established, they’ll remember that God is a part of them and that they are accountable to Him–no matter what religion they might practice.

I think it’s important that parents not force religion down their kids’ throats. That doesn’t work anyway. But here’s the deal–if you don’t establish a foundation of morality and rightness in your children, someone else will.

If your kids grow up without a foundation, when they get older, they’ll have no truth to fall back on. They’ll have nothing to build their lives on. And when they encounter the storms of life, they’ll have nothing to shelter them. And even if you provide a foundation for your kids, you have to ask yourself where that foundation came from. Because if its anything less than solid, your kids will wander helplessly, hopelessly through life.

Foundations are everything. If they crack and break apart, your building’s going to fall down. And I don’t know about you, but if I ever have any children, I want to make sure that they are able to live confidently, trusting God and relying on Him when life doesn’t make sense and knowing that He loves them intensely.

But that sort of foundation has to be laid. And that doesn’t happen on its own.

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