Train Up a Child

My children are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination – just last night we had an incident.  But today I was reminded of two verses while I listened to them playing…  Solomon advises us in Provers to “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older they will not leave it.” (22:6), and Paul writes to the Ephesians, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”  It is never too early to teach your children the truths of scripture – my girls are 4 and 2, and we’re already seeing dividends.

Here’s what happened…  This morning I woke up feeling very sick.  I stayed in bed for awhile, then got up and took a shower to see if that helped me feel better, but it actually exhausted me so I went and laid back down.  We decided to skip Sunday School so I could sleep until church started.  While I lay there in the bed I could hear the girls playing in their room (which is adjacent to ours).  Not sure what happened, but they must have bumped into each other because I heard Chloe say, “I’m sorry, Lestee, for bumping into you.  Will you forgive me?”  And Celeste replied, “I forgive you.”  Then they continued playing.

Then a little later Chloe went in to the bathroom and Celeste went in there, too (what is it about girls having to go the bathroom together!?!?!?).  Melissa went in to check on them and I could hear Chloe say, “What’s wrong with Daddy?”  Melissa said, “He’s not feeling good.”  So Chloe said, “Then we need to pray for him.”  And I could hear them all praying together that Jesus would make me feel better (and it wasn’t Melissa leading them in prayer, it was Chloe leading them :))

Finally, this afternoon after church I laid down on the couch to take a nap before the annual church Fall Festival.  After my nap I still didn’t feel good so I decided to stay home while Melissa took the girls.  Celeste came in and asked, me, “Daddy, you go to fall festival?”  I said, “No, sweetie, Daddy doesn’t feel good.” She replied, “Daddy not feel good?  What not feel good?”  I said, “My tummy.”  She replied, “I wanna pray for you.”  So she grabbed my hand and said, “God our Father, God our Father” (prayer she sings to the tune of Frere Jacques), “Please make Daddy’s tummy feel better.  Amen.”

It was that simple, and that sweet.  Today I got to witness three little fruits from all that Melissa and I have invested in our girls.  We have a long way to go, but it’s days like this that remind me there is no greater joy in life than family.


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