Take Time For Children

 Read: Luke 18:15-17; Proverbs 22:6

The St. Louis Cardinals are in the playoffs!  I realize that for some this is more exciting news than for others.  But for me it takes me back to game 6 of the 2011 World Series.  Probably one of the most memorable in World Series history as the Cardinals kept coming back in dramatic fashion and then finally won to send it to game 7.  But I remember that game for more than just the game itself.  Let me explain.

In last weeks meditation I talked about being “present” when we are with people. This week I want to remind parents of how important that is with their children.  My daughter got married this past August and moved to California.  Leading up to the wedding I was doing some reminiscing like most parents do during big life events such as this.  I thought back to all of the wonderful times we had as a family as our children were growing up.  I am attaching two of my favorite pictures of our children when they were very young and all dressed up.
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Anyway, back to game 6 of the World Series.  My daughter Rebecca was not and still is not a big baseball fan by any stretch of the imagination, and yet that night she sat with me on the edge of the couch watching every exciting pitch and hit.  Yes, I am not embarrassed to say that when the Cards tied it in the bottom of the 9th we were yelling and jumping around the living room together.

She celebrated with me like she really cared even though this was probably the first game she had watched all season.  She was not only present but she took time to engage in something that I was interested in.  I learned a lesson from my daughter that night!

Life can get busy and easily pass us by.  It seems like yesterday that these pictures of my children at a young age were taken.  One is now married and the other is in high school.  It’s a reminder that we need to take the time to converse with our children on things that interest them and things they are concerned about.  This short video clip from pastor Chuck Swindoll is a good reminder of that, I hope that you will click this link and watch it.

http://www.insight.org/resources/videos/insights/take-time.html

This time we spend goes beyond the teaching, discipline, and rules that parents often focus on.  We need to talk with them about their life, their feelings, their spiritual questions, and what they are thinking about.  We also need to join them in doing something they enjoy, just like my daughter did with me during that World Series game.

Jesus told his disciples to let the children come to him.  As parents we need to follow Jesus’ heart and show care, concern, and interest in our children.  We only worship Jesus, but he has given us this incredible responsibility and opportunity to be a parent, friend, and spiritual mentor/example for our children.  Lord give us the strength, the patience, the wisdom, and the time to fulfill this calling.

Make it personal:  It makes no sense for parents to beat themselves up over missed opportunities in the past.  God’s grace is sufficient and he will hear our prayers for the days ahead.  If you still have children at home remember to be a parent but also remember to be their friend.  Find some things to do together that you both enjoy and find times to laugh with each other.  Life is too short to wait!

Have a wonderful week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church