I was blessed to have parents who took me to church. Though I did not appreciate it at the time, Sunday school taught me a lot about right and wrong. Providing a biblical foundation for a child makes a huge difference in the way an individual thinks and lives.
Proverbs chapter 22 and verse 6 confirms how important it is to not only teach children about God, but to also live what we believe in front of them. “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.”
When it came to watching the news, I cannot recall my parents or grandparents being so upset they turned the television off. I’m not saying the world was better back then; maybe it was just not broadcast.
I’m reminded of a story my grandmother told me years ago. She was an amazing lady and, as the first grandchild, I was always close to her. Her parents were devout Christians, and she was also very vocal about faith and praying. Her father died before I was born, and I can barely remember my great-grandmother. They had 14 children (nine boys and five girls) and lived on a small farm so far out in the sticks you could actually walk down the hill to the Kentucky river.
This was in the 1920s and ’30s and they were poor, but my grandmother was very proud of her family. She told me that every day in the summers, her mom would fix a huge breakfast and, after the meal, the kids would all line up in the yard and her dad would give specific chores for each child.
Nonetheless, they all worked hard and played hard, and she always had fond memories of their home as a place of peace and safety that was filled with God’s love.
She said at Christmas, each child would receive a small toy and a piece of fruit. One year she was given a harmonica and an orange, which she declared as the best Christmas ever. She was so excited she put on her coat and boots and walked around in the snow all day blowing on that harmonica.
However, one of the most interesting and precious childhood memories was about her father. She said in the evenings he would walk down behind their barn and pray. There was an old log he used for an altar, and he would get on his knees and weep and wail so loud they could hear him up at the house.
When I look at his tattered photos, I cannot help but imagine what it was like to be responsible for so many and to rely completely on God just to survive. I have a great amount of respect for this man, his work ethic and tireless commitment to be a good husband and father. Yes, he had a tough life, but his dedication to God was definitely seen by his family and had a positive impact on each one.
Maybe if more parents would pray and be a godly example in front of their children, the evening news would not be so filled with sadness and discouragement.
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