When you bring a child into this world, you never know what they’re going to turn out to be like. What will they look like? What will they like? What direction will they go later in life? These are a few of the myriad of questions that life slowly answers.
It’s tricky. Each child is a beautiful image bearer of God, but each child is fallen from the start. Each one is like a lop-sided bowling ball. There are a lot of “kadunks” and “thwumps” in getting them down the lane of life and to their eventual targets.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” I take this to be proverbial; it’s a wise saying. All things considered, kids are bent in a certain direction and good parenting directs according to their natural strengths. I don’t think this is a promise from God. Solomon was careful to say “the proverbs of Solomon,” not “the promises of God” at the beginning of Proverbs. Even the best of parents can deal with the pain of a wayward child. God himself asks in Malachi 1:6, “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor?” Even perfect parents deal with rebellious children.
Noel and I are both deeply thankful that Jami leans toward adventure. We love this about her. This is her bent. We have tried to train her with this in mind. However, it also gives us ample opportunities to have to trust God’s grace in ways we’d rather never have to as parents. It continually challenges us to work hard at parenting but also to rest in the realization that God’s grace must prevail in her life if she’s going to endure her unique lop-sidedness.
This morning we said “good-bye” to her. She is headed for a 2-week mission trip to an unnamed North African country. It is not a safe place, especially for a young lady. But it is as safe as anywhere if this is what God wants. She is passionate about the opportunity to distribute blankets to widows, do some refurbishing on a few area schools, and some other Gospel-centered ministries of mercy to some very needy people.
At the conclusion of 2015, we would appreciate your prayers for her…and for us. She hopes to return on January 13th. We hope she returns then too.