Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Earlier, we let the boys bike a lap around our neighborhood without us. Scary right? I am not adjusting well to having an almost tween living at my house who is capable of riding his bike around the neighborhood with friends and taking his little brother along with him. I had to get over my temporary panic attack, take a couple of deep breaths, and let my growing boys go.
Life was so much easier when they were still on training wheels.
When they wore helmets without whining and elbow pads and knee pads. Nothing was going to break them.
Even when we took the wheels off, we still would run beside them or right behind them.
Ready to catch them at a moment’s notice.
Finally, they break free. They can do it all on their own. Without your help.
There’s no one standing behind them.
For most of my son’s lives, their father and I have held their hands when it comes to their growing faith. We have brought them to church, read them the Bible, prayed with them and taught them about Jesus. They have been in a beautiful, safe bubble. They have been on training wheels.
Even now, being a little bit older, we are still there for them when there is a problem or a question. Mom and Dad and their pastors will know what to do. They will always know what to say.
But one day they will start to break free. They will start to wander. They will face hardships, make decisions, and embark on relationships outside of our control.
We won’t be there holding the backs of their bikes.
And we won’t have the right answer.
One day, my sons will hold their faith out in front of them and question all of it.
And we will have to let them.
But we will pray that their faith, even when shaken, will not fall from its solid foundation.
And we will have to have even more faith. Faith in God and faith in our children. We will have faith that what they have learned on those training wheels, and with us right beside them, will have become second nature to them.
Just like when they learned to ride a bike.
And they might go off too far. They might make some wrong turns, get in some bad, crashes and have run ins with people who want to take them on different paths.
But they will always get back on.
And just like when they rode their bike for the first time without training wheels, we will be cheering them on.
Smiling from ear to ear.