Devotion for July 4, 2024
By Bryan Chapell

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov. 22:6)

The apostles and prophets tell us that God is our Father, encouraging us to use his divine parenting as the model for our own. 

Sadly, in light of that perfect model, Christian parents may struggle to deal with their shortcomings. We may read parenting proverbs (wise words to guide wise people) as promises (divine guarantees for perfect outcomes) they were never intended to be. 

Proverbs give us Fatherly wisdom for what tends to be helpful in a fallen world – and wise people take them to heart, but a proverb is not promise. Families don’t function like math equations. 

No one can bear the pressure of proverbs mistaken as promises or meet the standard of perfection such a reading requires. As a result, the misreading of Scripture’s proverbs about rearing children creates anxious, insecure parents who either give up on God, or on their children.

God’s intention in his proverbs is to give us the counsel that our imperfect parenting requires, and also to remind us that he doesn’t give up on us because of our failures. His enduring and encouraging counsel frees us to parent our children wisely – not to give up on them or forget the grace we, too, need!

The relationship with God that he secures, gives us the security to love and discipline our children as God intends – reflecting his wisdom and remembering his grace!


Father, thank you for parenting me with love that disciplines for my good, and does not walk away when I need more grace. Please help me to be so secure in your parental care that I can reflect it wisely with my own children.

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