Our verse this week reminds us that children who are trained well tend to stay on course. But we all know families who have raised kids in a particular faith only to see them walk away from it. Or we’ve known families of no substantial faith who have produced great followers of Christ. These exceptions don’t negate the proverbial truth in this verse or the reality that even our best efforts at parenting produce imperfect kids who need to know the forgiveness found in Christ.
The general truth is that our families have sent us off with momentum toward a goal and that most children continue on that path in the long run. The momentum of training implies a letting go, like a dad helping his child learn how to ride a bike, eventually letting go to watch, cheer, and help up after a fall.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
[ Proverbs 22:6 ]
Your families have “let you go” off to college with the hope that you will continue to grow and prepare for the life ahead of you, many with the hopes of Proverbs 22 that you will live justly and wisely. Some of your families have pointed you toward Christ your whole life. Others come from families where God wasn’t much of a priority. Whatever your background, we believe a life fixed on Jesus is the best goal.
Make it a priority to stay focused on Christ in college. While many view this time as one of pure independence and freedom, I hope that you will not see it as the end of your “training.” College is a great place to take ownership of your own faith, to hold on to what you believe and to learn why you believe it. You are, in a sense, taking off your religious training wheels. But that does not mean that you’re alone in your journey. There are plenty of people cheering you on, ready to travel with you, and willing to help when you fall down.
By James Taylor, Director of Campus Ministries