On Thursday (Aug. 23) we will be taking our oldest daughter, Sarai, to her first year of college at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon (near Milwaukee). She plans to study social work. She’s nervous. We’re nervous. She’s excited. We’re excited for her. I’m sure we will all shed a tear or two.
This is what we are supposed to do though, isn’t it? We are to train them up the best we can and then let them go, send them off into the big, wide world. Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Am I worried about the choices Sarai will make in college? Not really. I’m sure she’ll do some things that she won’t tell me about until I’m 60 or 70 years old but for the most part I’m not worried. Schawn and I have trained her up in the way she should go. We have trained her up in the Word of God. We have trained her up to love the things of God. She loves God and loves living her life, to the best of her ability, according to the Word of God.
Everyone is tempted. Everyone is pulled away from God’s ways by peers, by media and even by those in authority over us at times. Everyone makes mistakes but when we train up our children to love God, love and know His Word, spend time in His Word and show a commitment to worship then our children have a greater chance of following in our footsteps.
I will say that I am also very, very thankful that she is going to a Christian University. I know there are lots of great things about state schools. They have great programs. They have highly acclaimed professors. They have great sports teams. They usually are cheaper than a Christian university but it really is a joy to hear the faculty at Concordia talk about teaching everything from a Christian perspective and bringing Christ into all they do. It’s really amazing to hear the faculty and staff talk about praying for the freshman class and wanting the best for each and every one of them. It’s wonderful to hear them speak about their door always being open for the students and knowing that Sarai has a good chance of getting advice based on the Word of God from anyone on staff that she chooses to speak to there.
The bottom line is that God calls us to train up our children and then let them go. We do all we can to teach them how to be successful in life but even more important how to love and honor God with their life and then when it comes that time we let them go.
May each one of us take seriously God’s call on our lives to train up our children to love and honor Him. (And say a prayer for the Starfeldt family on Thursday).
Pastor Chad Starfeldt was installed at Shepherd of the Hills in June of 2012.