This entry is part 23 of 28 in the series Devotionals

As a parent, having a personal relationship with Christ is vitally important if you have a child or grandchild that goes astray, whether the child is in their teens or past the age of 20. Oftentimes, the way we react to our child’s behavior, makes matters worse for them and for us.

The way we handle the situation of a child going astray can have serious consequences. What we do, may not seem significant at the time, if we are dealing with a child, preteen, teenager, or young adult, but how we handle the problem can, inevitably, affect our life and the life of our child, too, as well as, future generations to come.

In John 15:12, our Lord said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Christ loves us UNCONDITIONALLY. Our children may learn in church, that God loves us all “unconditionally,” but at home, oftentimes, we show them a different picture. 

Parents are the primary connection between their children and God. We show them the attributes of God right in our own home. Unfortunately, however, some parents push their children away from God, without even realizing it. In 1 Corinthians 13:7, Paul said, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Every word, action, and conversation we share with our children will either lead them to Christ or push them away. 

Our children have real struggles (mentally, socially, and spiritually) every day. They often deal with criticism, ridicule, hurtful teasing and bullying behaviors from peers. Unknowingly, children compare themselves with other children. God’s Word tells us that comparing ourselves with others is not wise (2 Cor. 10:12). Psychologists say that between the ages of 6 and 14 is the time of important developmental advances that establish a child’s sense of identity. 

Parents, the struggles and peer pressures that our children face every day are REAL. Our children need to see that we care as much about their struggles as we do their salvation in Jesus Christ. If your child is struggling or going astray, ask the Lord to help you. He wants to help us! One day, when our children prepare to leave home, let’s hope that we’ve given them the right picture of who God is. Let us never forget Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

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