A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law and four year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.
The family ate together at the table, but the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about grandfather,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.”
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in grandfather’s direction, he sometimes had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four year old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Momma to eat your food from when I grow up.” The four year old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no words were spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the message they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child’s future.
So, my beloved let us always be wise builders.
– Author Unknown –
As parents, we must keep in mind our children are smart and learn by listening and watching; thus are we setting the right kind of example for them to emulate. They will compare our actions with our words to see if we practice what we say. If not, your children will be confused not knowing what to follow, your actions or your words. Are you living for Christ in such a way that you want your children to imitate you? The Bible is by far your richest and best resource to help you raise children who will know and love Jesus Christ. Nothing is more essential than “the Holy Scriptures” to equip them for all of life’s challenges. Remember that children may not inherit your talents, but will most certainly absorb your values! An unknown author put it this way:
A careful man I ought to be; a little fellow follows me. I do not dare to go astray, for fear he’ll go the selfsame way. Not once can I escape his eyes; whatever he sees me do, he tries. Like me he says he’s going to be – that little chap who follows me. So I must remember as I go, through summer sun and winter snow; I’m molding for the years to be – that little chap who follows me.
Children may close their ears to advice, but their eyes are always open to example, wherein we shape tomorrow’s world by what we teach our children today.