Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
The other day Bill and I were in a restaurant in California and there was a child on the other side of the restaurant randomly screaming it’s head off throughout our time there. Any more that seems to be a common thing so it wasn’t too difficult to ignore, but then the hostess sat a young couple down in the area we were sitting and it was just them and us sitting in the inclosed patio and they had 3 young children obviously all under the age of five and it was impossible to ignore them! When we were done with our meal and we were getting ready to leave I asked Bill to just give me a second and I walked over to their table to say, “I am so impressed with your family and your beautiful children. It is so obvious that you are spending time and training them and caring for them, you seem to be great parents and I know how much it blesses my daughter every time someone points that out to her because it isn’t easy being a parent these days. Keep up the good work, you will be glad you did!” Their children were so quiet Bill didn’t even realize they were there and yet they were playing and coloring with their parents and their parents were relaxed and carrying on a quiet conversation all they while they were there.
It starts at home, with children being taught at home and being raised in an atmosphere where they know they are loved and there are boundaries to give them security. Content, healthy children tend to fuss less. Yesterday when I was in the grocery store I heard an all too familiar sound, “mom, mom, mom, MOM, MOM, MOOOMMMMMMM! AUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH! Hmmmmmm……. I wonder if it occurred to “mom” to take a moment and answer that child or at least hold up a finger and say, “wait just a minute.” I taught my children and now my granddaughters that when they need to talk to me about something that if I am on the phone or in the middle of a conversation to just put their hand on my shoulder to let me know they need me and as soon as their is a break in the conversation I will acknowledge them in order to avoid rude interruptions and to avoid their getting frustrated because they don’t know how to be heard without getting in trouble.
My sister Josie has a great program for churches that she developed to help Moms and to draw more people into the church, called “It’s4U Mom”. That would be a great program for your church, but there are also things I think we can all do to help the newer generation of parents survive. If you are a new parent, maybe you should start a group of young Moms from your church and circle of friends and find some great books on parenting so you can support each other and get some great input from some great writers out there. My daughter Candace attends a group similar to that and she has told me about some great books they have read with some incredible things that I wish I had heard of when I was raising my children. I will ask her for a list of them and will post them later this week. If you are older and your children are out of the house, maybe you can be a mentor to a younger Mom or if you know a single Mom who is at her whits end, offer to watch her children sometime so maybe she can even just do her grocery shopping alone or she can go have lunch with a friend. Think about what your contribution today could be and ask God to give you direction. He cares about each of these little ones and He cares about their frustrated parents as well. This Bible study today is not meant to slam today’s parents it is meant to be something to encourage all of us to help instead of just standing by to criticize. As members of the body of Christ it is all of our responsibility to see that children are trained up for Him!
“Do what you can with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt