Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older; they will not leave it.
The devotional I read today talks about how we often think of this as a promise rather than a proverb. But as a proverb if we raise our children with godly effort most often it will produce godly children but there is no guarantee.
As my children get older and really start making their own decisions I have found it more and more difficult to let go and I think it's often because I'm afraid they will make a choice that will make me feel like a failure. But the truth is I can never do enough, be enough or try enough to make this proverb a promise. I have to let go and trust God with them and pray that He can work in their lives.
"We simply don't have the power to bring about our child's repentance and faith. That is a burden we were never meant to bear, a burden only our heavenly Father is able to bear.
When we recognize that this is a proverb and not a promise we can stop judging other parents whose kids seem to be straying from the path of Christ. And we can come out from underneath our own self-condemnation when our kids seem to be resisting our direction toward the right path. We can talk back to the voices inside our heads that tell us that if we had just tried harder, communicated more clearly, been more consistent, gotten our child to church more often, homeschooled, Christian schooled, public schooled, then certainly things would be different. We can rest in the sovereignty of God, casting all of our cares about the path our child is taking on the Lord, knowing he cares for us and our child.