How are we to understand the painful contradiction of wayward children and good parents? Who is responsible for the failure? Should faithful parents feel guilty when their children choose an entirely different moral inclination? Does Scripture even promise that good parenting will guarantee a wise trajectory for children? Are there other factors involved in the future welfare of a son or daughter?
Countless dads and mums banked on what seemed like a lifetime guarantee. If they trained their children in the way they should go, those children would not depart from that way even into old age. The lifetime guarantee failed to pan out. Too many parents, good dads and mums, have been bitterly disappointed and confused. As Solomon wrote, “the heart knows its own bitterness.”
Countless families were led to believe that if they followed certain steps in parenting, their kids would turn out right. Perhaps what persuaded them was the life-time, iron-clad promise from Proverbs 22:6. The inclusion of that small but pregnant phrase, “even when he is old, he will not depart from it,” promises that there will be no lapses, no times of rebellion, no periods of wandering in the life of the child. The promise is irrefutably comprehensive.