The proverb says to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. The hardest aspect of parenting is knowing that even though you did your very best to pour good things into your children, that they are free moral agents and at times they will choose the wrong way.
When my kids were all younger I changed our eating habits by introducing the blood type diet; a way of eating that is blood type specific in order for your body to assimilate the nutrients it needs. I saw how right away we all felt better and healthier. I didn’t ban junk food though because to ban anything creates rebellion so I still allow for all of us to junk out when we crave it that way we satisfy the craving. A few years back, my oldest daughter was consuming a lot of ice cream. She was getting a nice shape and was starting to notice her body changing from that of a girl to a young woman. That summer she was flabbergasted when the ice cream she was eating began showing up in her belly as unwanted flab.
Astounded, she marched up to me demanding to know why she would get such an unsightly thing on her body. Nature is the best teacher. I asked her what she’d been indulging in lately and right away she hung her head and admitted the ice cream was the culprit. She swore to never go there again and she hasn’t since. That is one example of how I believe God deals with us. He doesn’t ban anything from us, He lets us make choices.
A long time ago I read a book about The Proverbs in the Bible and it blew me away when the author explained that the proverbs are principles to live by and they aren’t set in stone laws that guarantee that your child will be perfect. As I pondered that I understood in that instant that my kids are human like me and they will make mistakes just like I do. When you train up your children in the way of the Lord it creates a safe passage for them into adulthood. When you don’t train them up, you set them up to fail…it’s inevitable. Whether you train them or not they’ll still make mistakes, but if they have the right foundation, they’ll have something to return to, a place to anchor themselves to so they can handle life and its storms.