A Love That Covers

A love that covers

A Love That Covers

By Michael Winskie

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

My wife and I have two daughters at home. One is nineteen and the other is twenty years old. We’ve endured the hard questions and confused thoughts of their early teen years. Sometimes they, like many young people, wanted to rebel. We’ve also enjoyed watching them learn and grow.

I, for one, especially enjoyed the silly questions. Like the time the then thirteen-year-old Erica, our oldest daughter, saw the Buffalo wings in the freezer at the grocery store and asked me, “Do cows have wings, too?” Then there’s the time my wife ordered “Papa Johns Pizza”. We told Heather, our youngest daughter, to get herself all fixed up because “John” was coming over to meet her and we were all going to eat together. When the delivery man showed up, the look of surprise on Heathers then the thirteen-year-old face was absolutely priceless!

My favorite was the time that there was an extremely bad thunderstorm. After a very close lightning strike and corresponding thunderclap, both our daughters came running into our room “to see if we were alright.”

Now that they are “grown”, I wonder. I wonder if we answered their questions well enough. Questions like “Is there a God?”, “Who is he?”, “How do I get to know him?”, and “How do I trust him in hard times?”. I wonder if I’ve prayed hard enough for them. I wonder if I’ve prayed hard enough for their future husbands.

It’s a big and sometimes cruel world out there. Do they know Jesus well enough to hold on to him with everything they’ve got when they don’t understand? Can they find answers for themselves in the Bible?

All I can do is hold on to his promise in Proverbs. Have we been perfect parents? No. (Della has been an awesome and godly mom, but I’ve fallen way short.) Have we always done everything correctly? No. But we serve a great God! A God who is love! A God who tells us about the “love that covers a multitude of sins.” Therefore, he covers a multitude of sins. He’s done just that on Calvary!

No, “train up a child in the way (the direction) that he should go” does not mean that the parents must be perfect. It means, rather, for the parents to run their lives in accordance with scripture, but pointing their children at all times to the one who is both “the way” and the “way-maker”- Jesus Christ.

Both of our girls are wonderful and beautiful young godly women. (Thank God they took after their momma!) They both are of a mindset to find their God-ordained mates. We know in our hearts that, by definition, our relationship’s with them must change.

No longer will we be “the authority” in their lives. They must submit to God, first, and their husbands, second. Our relationship changes from being a ruler, of sorts, to being a close friend, a sometimes -spiritual advisor, and a full-time prayer warrior.

We cannot make the same mistake we’ve seen so many parents make and try to rule their household. Many new marriages have been destroyed by overbearing parents. We’ve also tried to teach them that they must let go of us. Many more marriages have ended because the children never really left Mom and Dad. Their jobs as a married couple will be to seek God’s will for THEIR lives- not the will of their parents for their lives.

Have we taught them well enough? Probably not! However, God’s love covers a multitude of sins (both sins of commission and sins of omission).

He promised us that if we train them up in “the way” that they should go (in the Jesus that they should go) when they are old, they will not depart from it. In other words, they will have the will not to depart from Jesus. They’ll have slipped and fallen along the way- just as we have. But he will never leave or forsake them.

The trick, then, is this. We have to let go of what is in our hands (our children). When we trust Jesus with their lives, he’ll take over. After all, he can do things far better than we can. If we let go of what’s in our hands, he will let go of what’s in his, as an old and very dear pastor of ours used to say.

So, Jesus here’s our daughters- they’re yours. We release them from the control of our hands and entrust them into your more than capable hands. Use them as you see fit.



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