Saturday, June 20, 2009

A New Lesson, Twenty-Five Years Later

We’ve had a great time lately, enjoying visiting with family while having some meetings in the Central PA area. It’s been fairly uneventful (no fires, breakdowns, etc.) so I actually feel a little bored… Kenya imagine?? I’ve been able to read a bit, throw ball with the kids, sit around, etc. What a blessing!

I read something fairly interesting the other day that I will pass along to you. Actually, it’s a compilation of about three different, unrelated things, but they are very related, if you know what I mean.

One thing I found in Grammy’s basement was the textbook Understanding People, for a course I had completely forgotten about. (I know it is mine, because my writing is in the margin of the book! Other than that, it’s all new material to meJ.)

Reading a book about the spiritual, physical, and mental development of children that I had studied before having children takes on a whole new meaning after having raised half my family. I have three and a half children grown (Sharon is fourteen; doesn’t that count as half??), and three more yet very impressionable kiddos.

Everything I read in that book is very true and helpful, but one thing stood out to me as a very important reminder:

Speaking of the early teen years, the authors wrote:

“He needs a special kind of adult with whom he can relate. The adults close to him must be loving, patient, and understanding. Those who work with young teen must use this unique opportunity to disciple them for Christ. Parents or teachers can do this if they:
Keep open the channels of communication
Multiply the teens’ interests
Guide by counsel and give direction
Provide companionship”

It is so easy to get busy in the entanglements of life and miss some of the greatest opportunities in existence. Every electronic gadget has its allure which will easily lull us to lethargy, lest we hear our own childrens’ seemingly incessant bids for our attention. We miss the forest for the trees.

H. Clay Trumbull, in Hints on Child Training, says this:

“There is little danger that any parent will give too much study to the question of his child’s specific needs, or have too many helps to a wise conclusion on that point. There is a great danger that the whole subject will be neglected or undervalued by a parent.” (emphasis mine)

Have we become so “wired” that our focus is on gadgets than on people? Have we become so internet savvy that we value internet relationships more than those in our own home, than those who have come from our own bodies?? We Facebook, we Twitter, and a myriad of other internet-based activities (we blog!), but are we neglecting a primary purpose for our lives, that of raising godly children?

I speak of myself, as well. How easy it is to turn to a screen than to read a book to a child! Or to IM someone than to play a board game! Time is passing through my fingers, days are flashing by, and children are growing up, and I sit mesmerized by the screen. Lord, help us!

If there is any hope in this world of having a Jeremiah, or an Elijah come from our ranks, it must start with me!

I remember reading about committing my life to God and my family. That was twenty-five years ago. It was also today.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

What a nice post...
(Hey are you SURE Sharon counts as a half?) :)