Proverbs 17:25

A foolish son is a grief to his father
and bitterness to her who bore him.

Fools annoy others; they make others angry. Others enjoy fools, finding them to be entertainment. But fools grieve their parents who are filled with shame by the public disgrace and filled with sorrow for the path their children are following. They may also be angry, but their anger is stirred by disappointment and the loss of hope for their children.

It is a wondrous feeling to hold one’s own newborn, to know that this is not just a baby but one’s own child. There is no question for a parent at that moment that he or she will do anything to protect him and to do what is best for him. And no parent cannot but help to invest their own happiness and hopes in the child. This is the reason why parents can seem to be more reasonable with other children than their own. Just as we do not lose sleep over the investment of others, but are anxious about our own, so parents are anxious for their own children.

Your hope for your children and for yourselves is to entrust them to God. You have responsibility to raise your children in the path of righteousness, but you cannot control their hearts, nor be with them everywhere. And you must remember that they ultimately belong to God. You can do nothing better than to hold them up before your Lord in prayer. Certainly there is much you can do to learn how to raise your children and relate to them, but always be faithful in prayer. God grieves also for his wayward children. You do not love your children more than he. And so you can share your grief in prayer with one who understands. For after all, you are his child and he has had plenty experience dealing with your foolish ways.

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