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Proverbs 23:24 (NLT)

The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise.

As a father of four kids, I usually struggle when I am writing devotionals about parenting because they tend to bring up thoughts of doubt and feelings of shame…but I doubt that I’m alone in that! As a matter of fact, my wife and I had a challenging encounter with one of our teenagers just last night and here I am six hours later writing a devotional about “godly children…who are wise.” God cracks me up, sometimes.

What do you want most for your children? A great college education? A tremendous career? Financial stability? A wonderful spouse? Maybe you would be happy if they would just get along with each other! While the bible only mentions three of his children, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines so the odds are good that his fatherhood could easily have stretched into the hundreds. My point being this: Solomon had plenty of experience when it came to children and his number one prayer request for them would have been simple – that they be godly and wise. In fact, at the end of his life he boiled all of his experience and wisdom down into one rather short piece of advice:

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind (Ecc. 12:13).

As parents, we have the responsibility to raise our children up in the way they should go (Pr. 22:6) in the hopes that our efforts will yield a crop of godliness and wisdom…but our efforts are not the only things in play. As stated in a previous Daily Dose, great parents can have children that make bad decisions. We need to own our part in their story – and be willing to confess and repent and seek their forgiveness (and the Lord’s) – but we are not the author of their stories. That is between them and the Lord. Like the farmer, we need to be diligent in planting and tending our crops, including praying regularly for our children to grow in godliness and wisdom, but it is the Lord who will bring the increase (1 Cor. 3:7).

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