A Gift

Kids are a great source of joy and fulfillment.  The Bible says children are a gift from the Lord (Ps 137:3). 
Kids also challenge us and push us to our limits sometimes.  Lately, Jill and I find ourselves telling our kids that the world doesn’t revolve around them.  Often, when I say that, I think of the sun, moon and stars rotating around the earth.  That’s just not the way it is.  But how do we get this point across?  And how do we handle the feelings of failure that accompany the struggle?
Then I remember the day I played hooky in the second grade.  That’s pretty young to be skipping school, but I did it.  We have a daughter in the second grade right now, and I can’t imagine her skipping school.  I don’t know what I would do. 
My principle paddled by behind and my mom grounded me for a week.  I wasn’t allowed to leave the yard or have absolutely any contact with the sixth grader across the street who talked me into it.
And the time I egged my neighbor’s house with at least a dozen eggs!  I got a whipping for that too, and another week by myself to think about it.
I climbed on top of the house one day while my mom was at work, just for fun.  While up there, I accidentally knock over the tv antenna.  I felt like I had really damaged our home, so I went to my friend’s house to hide out.
My poor momma.  She was probably upset, worried and mad all at the same time over the junk I did.  Compared to me, our kids aren’t that bad after all.  In fact, we have a houseful of wonderful and happy kids.
It’s very hard to take our focus off the moment when were in the middle of it.  But, if we could somehow see the future, we’d probably see that our kids will get it some day.  My brother tells his kids, “Hear me now, but you’ll listen to me later.”  I didn’t get that the first time I heard it.  But he was saying to remember what I’m telling you and you’ll understand it some day.
Hang in there.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
   even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

One thought on “A Gift

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  1. Andy, I found myself grinning when I read this post. You must have been a pistol when you were a kid! Sounds like your parents were on top of things, though, and gave you good training for being the fantastic father you are today.

    I found with my own son that training him with service to others helped him develop that sense of compassion and “others-focus”. However, we cannot be responsible for all the decisions our children make, no? The mother of a friend of mine told her kids, “I take no credit for my kids’ successes, and no responsibility for their failures.” We do the best we can, praying for them and for ourselves. Oftentimes things like behavioral contracts with kids will help them feel they are more a part of the process, helping them realize more responsibility for their actions before God vs. “If I do this thing, I’m going to get it” mentality.

    I see you and Jill practice ultimate patience, love, and understanding with your kids in the most Godly and Biblical way possible. They know whom to trust as their Savior…they will also come to know Him as their greatest teacher/transformer because of the examples you and Jill have been to them…we all know that lessons are more “caught” than “taught”. And you’re doing a marvellous job! Thank you for your post and your humility before God and your brothers and sisters.

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