Why Children Stray Prov 2:13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This lesson should help parents to understand why children stray so they can take measures to try to prevent their children from leaving the paths of righteousness when they are older. And this message should help young people to know what to watch out for. Children stray because:
They haven’t been trained – Prov 22:6 – discipline will drive away foolishness but that is not training. Training is a daily exercise in teaching a behavior until it becomes a habit. Parents are usually remiss to train their children since the children have teachers and coaches throughout the day. Becoming an expert at computer games and technology is not training. If you do train your children and they stray perhaps then the trouble is that they wouldn’t take the training. They wouldn’t listen to instruction. In any case, to help your children, determine how you want them to turn out and start training them for that.
They haven’t learned the scriptures – 2 Tim 3:14-15 – Timothy learned the scriptures from the time that he was a child. His mother and grandmother made sure of that. Don’t think that once each week in Sunday school is going to do the job. Deut 6 shows you that teach the scriptures to children is the parents’ responsibility and must be done daily. So, pick up that Bible and start teaching your children. You might have to do a fair amount of study, as well.
They have bad friends – Prov 13:20 – a companion of fools shall be destroyed. If sinners entice thee consent thou not, Solomon said. When your children hang around the wrong friends they turn out like their friends. If you don’t mind seeing them stray when they are older let them hang out with fools. But if you want to help them keep from straying then make sure their friends are wise.
They are rebellious – Prov 30:10 says that there is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. Children like this were supposed to be stoned in the Old Testament, Deut 21:18-21. When you have a child who is so rebellious that you cannot turn him, he may stray and never return. Prayer is the only remedy. It will give you peace and comfort and God may have a way to reach him in time.
They have gotten into sorcery – Is 47:12 – sorcery involves witchcraft. The word for sorcery in Greek is the same word from which we get the word pharmacy. So drugs are a problem, as well. Devils lead them. A friend had a child that got hooked on dungeons and dragons and it caused that child to stray from the truth into demonic things. Thankfully, the child got away from that wickedness and turned back to righteousness. The devil uses all kinds of technology and subtle movies and books to influence children. Cartoons, video games, Harry Potter and so forth are examples. You have to be very diligent here to keep your children safe.
They don’t care – Rom 3:18 – there is no fear of God before their eyes. They have no concern about the future, no concern about consequences. Some of them are sluggards according to Prov 6:9-10. They are lazy and just drift. They are now free from righteousness [Rom 6:20] and they are happy in sin without regard for others. Soon they will see that they are in bondage to sin but not before they are hurt. It is really hard to get a child to care who doesn’t care. They often wind up in Eph 2:2-3; 4:17-19.
They have been deceived by philosophy and vain deceit – Col 2:8 – they have been influenced by the rudiments of the world. Authors like Richard Dawkins may have influenced them to quit believing the Bible. They may have been influenced by the current culture and music. Again it is so important that children learn the Bible and that they develop a heart for the things of the Lord. It takes a lot of work for parents to learn about the philosophies and deceits that cause their children to stray and then to address those things with their children and teach them a better way. See Prov 19:27.
Conclusion: These are the principle reasons children stray. As parents it is important to be on guard for all of these things and to be diligent to defend against them by taking good measures now. As children it is important for you to remember these things so that you don’t get caught up in any of them.