Links Daily Devotional

One for the Kids

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

I would guess that many of you were introduced to the game of golf by your father, grandfather or even great-grandfather. As you learned the game, they taught you not only how to hit the ball, but also the rules and etiquette on the golf course. They were training you how to play and act around the game.

It was probably the hardest thing I had ever said, telling my son he was right. He needed to own his faith…I thought of today’s passage when a discussion went around the coffee table at one of our Links Fellowships. As we opened the morning’s conversation, I was asked about my children and then I proceeded to share that I have four grandsons—for me, that’s a lot! Then we went around the room. One Links Player said he had 12 grandchildren and then another Links Player said he had 16 great-grandchildren. Wow! Apparently, four isn’t so many!

I memorized today’s translation of Proverbs 22:6 as I started my family many years ago. I can testify that it has proven true with my son and daughter, who are now in their 30s. I would admit there were times I didn’t think it would be possible with my son, because at 16 he departed from the Christian faith.

When I was serving as an elder in our church, one evening my son told me he only went to church because I made him. Of course, in the back of my mind I felt like barking, “You’re right, as long as you’re living under my roof!” I held back. It was probably the hardest thing I had ever said, telling my son he was right. He needed to own his faith, and I held onto this passage in Proverbs from that day forward.

As we fast forward 18 years, I can tell you now my son rededicated his life to Jesus. He is married and he and his wife are involved in a life group in their church. We had this conversation the other day, and he told me that had he known how to have a relationship with Jesus back then, maybe it would have been different. I know it’s true of a lot of the golfers in our Links Fellowships—they now are learning for the first time what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

As I see my grandchildren growing up, I, “Papa Dereck,” pray for them daily that they will have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and follow him all the days of their lives. Recently my four-year-old grandson shared with me a verse he learned in school, 1 John 4:7. When I heard him recite, “Dear Friends. Let us continue to love one another. For love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God,” I couldn’t help but say, “Amen,” as my heart melted with joy, praising God!

We can all train up our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the Lord. We can trust the Lord that when our little ones get older they will not depart from it. My adult children today remember a few Scripture verses they learned in church when they were small. God can make his truth stick, so let’s not hesitate to share that truth even with the littlest hearts and minds.

Dereck Wong
March 7, 2017
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