The Parent’s Hope

Jeremiah 31:16 “Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.”

The verse above is one of three verses that encourages Israel not to give up in captivity because God promised that they would return to their homeland. God uses a parent weeping for their wayward child as His illustration to encourage Israel. He said in the previous verse that Rahel “refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.” However, in the verse above God gave hope when He said, “…they shall come again…” He continues in the next verse by saying, “…there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again…” God wanted Israel never to give up hope that they would return from bondage.

However, I look at these verses and see that there is also hope for the parent whose child has gone wayward. There is little comfort you can give to a parent whose child has chosen the way of the world. The broken heart of a parent is great when they see their children continue to go down a wayward path that will one day bring heartache to the child and the grandchildren. In these verses are several observations that I would like to point out to you to give you hope as a parent.

First, it takes work to train children. Notice that the verse above says, “…for thy work shall be rewarded…” You will never train children to do right without hard work. To be passive in training your children for the LORD is nothing short than asking for disaster. You cannot be an absentee parent and expect your children to turn out right for the LORD. It takes work to train children to do right, and there are times when it is inconvenient to train them; however, if you want them to do right you must take the time to train them.

Second, you must not give up on what you are training your children to do. Because it takes work to train children, there will be times when you feel that you are getting nowhere in your training. Let me encourage you to never give up in taking the time to train them. If you looked back at your childhood, you would remember there were times when you were obstinate with your parents, but what they trained you to do during those obstinate times still sticks with you today. You will discover that the best child training times occur when you continue to train them to do right even when it seems they are not listening.

Third, don’t blame yourself if your children go wayward. Let me first of all point out that there are no perfect parents. Certainly, you could have done some things better, but so could every parent whose child turned out right. You must understand that when children become adults that they must choose to follow what you trained them to do. Your responsibility as a parent is to train them, but you can’t make them do what you trained them to do when they become adults. Always realize that your time of training was not wasted. One day you will see your children do right if you continue to do right. The key to seeing your children come back to the LORD is to continue doing right yourself.

My friend, never give up hope on your children returning to the LORD. The work that you invested in your children will pay off in the end. Until your work pays off, keep doing right and keep praying.

Dr. Allen Domelle

Maranatha Baptist Church | Bethany, OK