Perhaps no other verse has caused as much pride and pain as verse 6. It seems to be such a promise to parents – if you guide your kids on the right path, they will not leave it when they are older. The pride comes when we see our kids have done well – it must be because I led them correctly. And when they are struggling, we have pain – it must mean that I have failed as a parent.
We need to remember three things. First, proverbs are proverbs, not promises. These are general observations about life, and help us to make good choices as parents – to help our kids be disciplined and see God. Second, we need to remember that we were children once too. Our lives are where they are because we made our choices. Our parents either helped or hindered us on the path to life, but we made our choices – and our kids have to make those choices, too. Finally, we need to remember that God is NEVER done reaching out and calling for someone – both to the parent with pride, and those with pain, and the wandering child who needs to come home.