This past week was a busy one for me. I got a call, early morning on the first, that my oldest daughter was in labor and I needed to head up quickly to watch my grandkids. They took the kids to friends of theirs a couple blocks away as I made my way up. I got a text just before getting to my grandsons that she had already delivered the baby, just minutes after arriving at the hospital.
I picked up the boys and headed to their house. We made breakfast, washed dishes together, got dressed, played and read books until Mom and Dad returned home later in the afternoon. I really enjoyed my time with my grandsons. Their smiles. Them taking my hand and showing me new things that I hadn’t seen before. Them snuggling close as we read stories together. Their squeals of laughter as we made silly movements to a silly song. My heart was softened and refreshed by spending time with them.
As a new parent, I remember thinking that I now had little ones that I needed to mold and nurture. While this is true, part of parenting the child molds and grows us as adults. As I recalled my own children being born, I can look back and see how each child challenged my own character. Each one taught me something new about myself. Each one created an awareness that I still had work to do in my own character.
Moms and Dads, we live in a very busy world today. I want to challenge you to take time to be with your children, not on your phones, not on the computers, but really invest one on one time with your children. It will not only draw them close to their Lord Jesus as you train them up, but it will soften and strengthen your own character. May this quote encourage you today.
Noble Traits are Developed in Caring for Children. – I have a very tender interest in all children, for I became a sufferer at a very early age. I have taken many children to care for, and I have always felt that association with the simplicity of childhood was a great blessing to me….
The sympathy, forbearance, and love required in dealing with children would be a blessing in any household. They would soften and subdue set traits of character in those who need to be more cheerful and restful. The presence of a child in a home sweetens and refines. A child brought up in the fear of the Lord is a blessing.
Care and affection for dependent children removes the roughness from our natures, makes us tender and sympathetic, and has an influence to develop the nobler elements of our character.
The Adventist Home, p. 160b