The first thing every new parent need to know is that the Bible is the only book of instructions on how to train properly our dear children. This living book informs us all what to and what not to do in the training of our children.
Today, I will only blog about the scripture most people are aware of but never seem to get quite right.
“Train up a child in the way he/she should go and when he/she is old they will not depart from it”.
Exactly what does that scripture mean?
We all have individual gifts and talents which are recognizable at a very early age. However, most parents are far too busy to recognize them or cannot see what the future may hold for their child. The parents do not understand what it means to dream or hope because it is a great possibility that they themselves have never been trained properly. I look around poverty-stricken communities and I can spot little children playing and if they are well behaved, I may walk up to them and ask them what would they like to become when they get older? This is what fascinates me, none of them ever tells me that they desire to become broke, busted, and disgusted. None of them ever share with me that they desire to become an alcoholic, a criminal, a junkie, a prostitute, or anything else that is immoral.
Most of them tell me that they desire to become a fire-fighter, a police officer, or a construction worker. Of course, those answers come from the boys, from the girls I usually get a shrug that is until I get to spend some time with the little girls and look for their gift or talent and then ask the question again. And, it is then I will get a result which is not a shrug.
I have a grandson who from the moment he has been able to speak has given to me the same answer to my question repeatedly. And that is he desires to become a fire-fighter; I told his parents what his desire is and that they should purchase toys for him to play with that will cultivate his dream and his visions. As he became older, I asked the question again and in return, he provided me with the same answer. I then told his parents to take him to the local firehouse to speak with the firefighters there and to receive a tour. Unfortunately, this never took place by them. My daughter did make attempts but because it was not a priority she missed her opportunity to let her son know that she is there to cultivate his dream and vision. But like many parents, we never think to cultivate the dreams and visions of our children.
One day I was sitting in my home watching television with my daughter and grandson when all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit said, “take him to the firehouse”. I immediately got myself up and told my grandson to come with me. I never told him where we were going, however, the joy that came over him when we got to take a tour of our local firehouse is unforgettable. He had such a wonderful conversation with the fire-fighter, and he got to explore the entire house as well as the trucks and the Fire-Engine which is the chief vehicle that will go out to every fire and is the largest of all the trucks. I was impressed with the fact that my grandson knew so much about the trucks and so was the fire-fighter who asked him many questions before informing him of information that my grandson did not have. Once we left the firehouse my grandson told me that, “that was the very best trip he had ever taken and that he will always remember that”. For the remainder of that day, my grandson was happier than he had ever been, and that is by his own admission.
Toys are wonderful but many parents never realize that toys can be used to cultivate and teach. My son, when he was a little boy could be found doing one of two things, the first would be reading and the second would be drawing or sketching. These are his passions and he would often tell me and his father that he wanted to become an animator. Unfortunately, his father would give him negative responses all because his father could not see the future in that of becoming an animator. I helped him by keeping him supplied in drawing or sketch pads and told him that he would make mounds of money in that field. I also would purchase whichever book he was interested in. My son did not enter that profession, yet, my son has become very successful in another venture. However, my son continues to spend a lot of time reading and drawing or sketching. Because this is his true gift. And he will never be too old to share his gift with the world.
I have often explained that we do learn from what is spoken to us, however, our best teachings come from what we see. We harm our children with “do as I say not as I do”. If we do not want our children to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes or drugs, then we should not participate in those actions either.
The difference between loving something and hating something is a very thin line. I grew up hating the vices that my parents had. So, the lessons that I learned from my parents were not to participate in what I witness them doing. However, most people are not that fortunate and become a product of their environment. And they will be quick to say that everybody is doing it. Well, that may be good for everybody but I am not everybody and everybody can keep those things that I am not attracted to.
Growing up I loved to sing, and I began to sing at home with my siblings, but my mother would beat me more so I believe because I was wearing her wedding gown because I wanted to look like Diana Ross and my siblings were the Supremes. But as a child I did not understand that I was being punished for the wearing of a garment, I just knew that I was being beaten and my siblings were not. So, I stopped singing at home but would sing always around my grandmother and grandfather and my sister and I would sing Ike and Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. I was Tina and my sister would be Ike. People enjoyed watching us do that and would say that we were good. But, coming home the joy of singing deflated. Then I began to live with my grandmother, and it was there that I found my voice to sing again. However, the most negative thing my grandmother would always say to me is that my voice trembled when I sang, maybe that was because I was emulating wanting to sound like Cher.
Eventually, my grandmother and I moved back into the home that her mother owned where my mother lived. And I lost my voice to sing but picked up the desire to draw and unfortunately for me, all the drawings that I drew and displayed on the walls of the home were torn down and thrown into the trash or criticized. So, I forgot my dreams and visions of what I wanted to become once I became a high school graduate and left home. But when I was at home alone or thought that I was, I would belt out those songs I remembered from the radio while I was either doing chores or homework. And to my surprise, my siblings recognized that I really can sing and told their friends about my voice. Unfortunately, they never told me but rather teased me. It was not until after we became adults, left home, and began families of our own that my sister would tell me how she and my brothers always thought that I sang well and that they would always tell their friends about that. But in my not knowing that and not being cultivated at home in my gift or talent, I am now nervous about singing in front of people. My former Bishop would call me up to sing at events and I was well received. At an event I went to with my mother and sister during the CHRISTmas holidays, games were played and the game was that when the song which was designated for your table to sing, everyone at that table was to come up to the front and sing that song. Everyone at my table backed out by getting myself up, walking to the front of the room, taking the microphone and belting out the song. As I began to sing I heard the audience cheer and applaud. Upon my return to the table my sister confessed to me that because she had not heard me sing in many years, she hoped that I still sang well. My mother has never said anything good or bad about my singing to this day from that event.
Today, I am not living out that dream and vision I once had to sing and act, today I am a successful published author and think of nothing else but to write.
As parents, we must look at and listen to our children and encourage them to become what GOD has placed inside of them instead of damaging them. Every human should believe in CHRIST JESUS although I am aware that every human will not believe in HIM. But those who do and have children, and you missed the mark with your children but now have little grandchildren raise them up to admire the LORD GOD through CHRIST JESUS. Show them what it means to live in the life of CHRIST JESUS and not just speak about our faith or religiosity.
We should not cause great pain or anger our children this drives them away from us to rebel even the more. We are to tenderly raise them through counsel, discipline, and the ways of the LORD JESUS through our example set before them. Actions speak much louder than words.
Once our children become young adults it will be the training that they have received from home which will lead and guide them to make either correct choices or choices of error for themselves. Even though they may stumble and fall if we have provided them with great moral examples and the teachings of CHRIST JESUS it will be what they have been taught at home which will cause them to recall what direction they are to take. However, remember if the foundation that we have provided to our children is negative than that will be the logical direction that they may follow rather than deciding to go in the opposite direction of what they witnessed at home.
Parents do not grow weary if it appears that our children have gone too far to the left. If you are secure in knowing that you have provided your children with a foundation that is stable and proper, know that they will return to that which they know works and they may even improve on their knowledge. Because they will find out that there is more to the foundation that they too can build on for success.
Proverbs 22:6; Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 3:15
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