Training Up a Child

The other day hubby was helping Turkey-man with a game on his phone. Hubby lost and the character died. I watched Turkey-man’s expression as he looked at his infallible hero and said, “YOU could not do it?” He was absorbing the realization that his idol was not perfect.

I know the day is coming when we as parents who currently can do no wrong suddenly can do no right. I remember my teenage years well. I was amazed at the incredible ignorance of my own parents. How had they been on Earth eighteen extra years and know so little?!

Then I graduated college and was thrust in the real world. If you want a profession that will show you how useless book smarts are, choose nursing. Quickly I learned just how little I actually knew about life.

What do you say to the couple preparing to give birth to their baby that had already passed away? How do you hold a conversation with a dying mother who is looking at her children and expressing her desire to just get through one more Christmas with them? How do you make “that” call that you know is forever going to change a family’s life?

My parents were becoming more intelligent by the day. Maybe they no longer retained the book knowledge I still possessed but they knew a thing or two about real life, the one that exists outside the confines of a classroom.

Do you want to know when parents return to your childhood view of them as brilliant? It is the moment your child is placed in your arms.

Were my parents perfect? Of course not! But today all four of us children are active members of our churches and are striving to raise our child(ren) to know and love God. Something they did along the way worked that all four of us place our relationship with God paramount to all other things in our life.

I remember Turkey-man lying in my arms as I realized the enormous, awesome responsibility that I had. I needed to do everything I could to protect his soul, to teach him all that I know about God, and to encourage him to develop a faith of his own. Suddenly I was searching every memory of how I was raised looking to glean the answers as to how my parents managed to get us all to where we are at today.

We read the bible to our children every night. We teach them the importance of prayer. We sing and listen to Christian music. Possibly the most important thing hubby and I do is try to model Christian behavior to the best of our abilities even when the kids are not around.

I do my best to start each day reading my Bible. Most days Turkey-man is up before I get done and he knows that time I spend drawing close to God is unparalleled to anything else I accomplish each day. Sometimes he curls up in my lap and asks me to read the words aloud to him.

The time we have to influence them is relatively short in the scope of their lives. I know there are a lot of variables that go into the long-term outcome of our children’s faith, but Proverbs 22: 6 is branded into my mind. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” We do not have control over all of variables that will contribute to their spirituality, but this is one area that the Bible commands my influence.

I pray for God to protect their hearts and to give me wisdom to know the best way to teach them. With that protection and wisdom, hopefully, thirty years from now I will be watching Turkey-man and Little-flower as they work to impart the knowledge of God to their own children. What daunting, but awesome responsibility it is!

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