When Twitter was the song of a bird | Faith and values


In the ’70s, Twitter was a bird’s song and Facebook was two separate words. My toddlers were socially entertained by choosing a book and having it read to me before the afternoon nap. The antique seesaw that belonged to the great grandmother was just wide enough for me, two boys and two books. It was a destination for adventure and social interaction.

Sometimes I was so tired that I thought I would fall asleep before I finished the first pages. I was a young mother with a full plate, but wanted my two sons to enjoy “reading”.

I have often dreaded the choices of books that my children made. How many times can you want to hear the same book? How many times can Mr. Fixit, a friendly and helpful fox, accomplish the impossible? How many adventures can Berenstain bears – mom, dad and two cubs have in bear country?

Even though money was tight in those early years of marriage and family, I managed to maintain our Book of the Month membership. When the box arrived in the mail, the two boys attacked it like it was Christmas morning. I shared with my children one of the most important gifts a parent can give: the love of reading.

As parents, we have a huge opportunity to influence the lives of our children. Our voice is more important than any other voice. It can be calming and nourishing, or it can cause anger and dysfunction. We have a divine appointment of influence in the lives of our children.

Well-known family advocate, author and radio personality Dr James Dobson shared the idea. “A boy will do what his father says until he is 14, then he will do what his father does. Children learn by instruction but also by observing the actions and lifestyle of their parents. The old adage “Do what I say, not what I do” is fundamentally flawed.

Knowing God and molding your love for him is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children. Reading and sharing the word of God with your children will position them for a fruitful and happy life. Your walk with God must be genuine and powerful, personal and life changing, humble and loving. Only then will your children want to know the God you serve.

Bible stories were also a big part of our reading program. Remembering and applying the scriptures was also part of the spiritual growth of our children. It wasn’t always popular with our friends who thought natural and educational development was important, but spiritual development should be a choice for later.

I remember having dinner as a couple one night and sharing the memory of the scriptures our boys had accomplished. Horrified, the lady said: “You are distorting your children! You shouldn’t impose your religious beliefs on them! She felt that faith was a choice for a mature person after studying various religious beliefs and paths to God. As much as I appreciated his opinion, my heart was to teach our children about the person I loved and served, Jesus Christ. If it got out of shape, I’d be guilty!

Emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual development is best modeled by loving parents who accept their divine appointment to influence their children.

I love Susanna Wesley’s story. She was the mother of 10 living children and taught them all to love God through instruction and example. She would sit among all the children daily with her apron on her head and pray. She is often called the mother of Methodism. His two sons, John and Charles, shaped the course of Christian history and changed the world. Susanna never preached a sermon, published a book, or founded a church, but she prepared a tribe of ambassadors for Christ who did all of these things.

Parents are not perfect, but they are God’s plan. Accept the call of your life to teach your children the way of life. They will thank you for it!


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