This verse is a promise - easy for us to hold to when the children we love do grow to love, know and walk with God; it may leave us with questions and uncertainties when the children we love turn away from the faith they knew as a child.
But, regardless, it is a promise; look at it in a few translations with which you may not be as familiar . . .
- Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. (New Living Translation)
- Start a youth out on his way; even when he grows old he will not depart from it. (Christian Standard)
- Teach your children right from wrong, and when they are grown they will still do right. (Contemporary English Version)
- Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life. (Good News Translation)