Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lessons in Parenting (or Who is teaching Who?)

As a Mommy, one of the greatest joys (and yes, sometimes one of the greatest heartaches!) is teaching and training my children to serve the Lord.  As I write to you this afternoon, Ian is in his bed.  It is rest time, but it doesn't sound like much resting is getting done at the moment.  From the sounds of it, Ian is passing on his small store of knowledge and wisdom.  And to whom might he be passing such a treasure trove?  His "creatures" - Monkey, Bear, Dog Pillow, Rhino, and Uff (the stuffed doggie)!  I can hear him imparting the "wisdom of the ages" on to them all.  You know, the important things in life like…"You need to say 'Yes, Ma'am'"….."You need to obey."  You know, all those things his Mommy and Daddy are constantly telling him?
As a parent, I have learned to be very specific with what I say or ask.  I walked into his room recently and caught him jumping on the bed.  We have a "No Jumping on the Bed" policy.  When I asked him what he was doing wrong, he admitted to jumping on the bed.  I went on to explain that it doesn't please Jesus when we don't obey Mommy and Daddy.  I asked him if he remembered what the Bible said in Ephesians 6:1 about what he had done wrong.  This was his reply, "Ephesians 6:1…Children don't jump on the bed in the Lord, for this is right." !!!!!!!!!  That wasn't the exact answer I was looking for, but I had to give him credit!  It served me right for asking that question the way I did!
I really do love to hear Martha playing with her dollies.  Occasionally, she will come to me and explain that "Dolly did _________ (whatever the current offense might be)."  Then she will tell me that Dolly must be disciplined.  In our little family, we make it a point to pray with our children after a time of discipline.  I always remind Martha to pray with Dolly after the discipline.  I usually hear something like this, "Dear Jesus, please help Dolly to obey.  In Jesus name, Amen."  
It is always a fresh reminder that even in play, my children are learning, preparing, and setting the foundation for their entire life.  How many habits do we grown-ups have that can be traced back to some childhood play or habit?  And my children aren't the only ones who are learning - I am learning too - if I'll just pay attention!
It was a joy and blessing today to see Martha at the sink washing dishes.  She didn't get very many washed before I came to take over, but she was making an effort!  Normally she is the official "Dish Dryer," but today she was promoted to "Dish Washer"!  It makes me laugh every time I think of those two words, "Dish Washer"!  As a young person, I used to beg and tease my parents for a dishwasher (you know - the machine).  Inevitably my Daddy would grin and say, "We already have one……YOU!"  This was never the answer I wanted to hear - especially since I am an only child!  Now I can pass those words of wisdom on to my own daughter - Hee!  Hee!  Hee!  Thank you, Daddy!  They rank right up there with, "Not everybody's doing that, because you're not!"  (I've already had the privilege of using that one with my own children - in case you were wondering!) 

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