21 January 2015

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

I remember holding my fathers pointer finger because my hand was too small to fully grasp his hand as we would walk in grocery stores and in the mall.  I remember the inconsistent ring of Rice Crispy’s that would encircle the top of my cereal bowl in the mornings because my mother had just rinsed the bowl and left a little water at the rim.  I remember taking Sunday afternoon drives with my mom, dad, brother and sister and eating Cheetos in the back seat (my sister would also get Cheetos and my brother would get Doritos).

I am thankful to God that I have positive memories that envelop me when I think of my childhood and my relationship with my parents.

Lately, the responsibility of raising children to be Christ loving, disciplined, respectful and confident human beings has been on the forefront of the minds of me and my husband. We understand that God has entrusted our two children to us and it is up to us to do the job of “training  them up” in the way they should go. While I did not grow up in a home that attended Church regularly, I know that God had his hand on my parents as they were raising us – and they made it seem so easy!  I now understand that  this “training” started at home – not at school and not at church.  I heard Charles Swindoll say recently that the Church can not save what the parents have destroyed.  While we as parents have the  job of rearing children,  it is important for us to remember the thoughts and feelings that our children may not be able to articulate.  They are still human beings and want to be treated with respect, love and care.  

The following list (A Child’s Ten Commandments To Parents by Dr. Kevin Lema) has served as a great reminder for me.  We have it taped to our refrigerator:

A Child’s Ten Commandments To Parents

1.  My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture or throw a ball.  My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.

2.  My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely.  Don’t restrict me unnecessarily.

3.  Housework will always be there.  I’m only little for a short time – please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.

4.  My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs.  Don’t nag me all day long.  (You wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.)  Treat me as you would like to be treated.

5.  I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by and disciplining me in a loving manner.

6.  I need your encouragement to grow.  Please go easy on the criticism; remember you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.

7.  Please give me freedom to make decisions concerning myself.  Permit me to fail, so that I can learn from my mistakes.  Then someday I’ll be prepared to make the kinds of decisions life requires of me.

8.  Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations.  I know it’s hard, but please don’t try to compare me to my brother or my sister.

9.  Please don’t be afraid to leave for a weekend together.  Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids.  Besides, it’s a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.

10.  Please take me to Sunday School and Church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow.  I enjoy learning more about God.