A woman and her four-year-old son where at church. Her son yells out, “Mommy I have to go potty.” She says, “Shhhh, we don’t say that. We say ‘I have to whisper’.” Her son says, “Okay.” The very next week the little boy and his father where at church. His son leans over and says, “Daddy, I have to whisper.” His dad says, “Just whisper in my ear.”
Hagar the Horrible, that intrepid Viking from the comics, is talking to his buddy: “When MY son grows up I want him to have all the things I never had!” Just then Hagar’s wife, Helga, interrupts and says, “Like common sense,
good table manners, frequent baths, clean underwear, a sunny disposition…”
An elderly man in Florida calls his son in New York one November day. The father says to the son, “I hate to tell you, but we’ve got some troubles here in the house. Your mother and I can’t stand each other anymore, and we’re getting a divorce. I’ve had it! I want to live out the rest of my years in peace.
I’m telling you now, so you and your sister won’t go into shock later when I move out.” He hangs up, and the son immediately calls his sister in the Hamptons and tells her the news. The sister says, “I’ll handle this.” She calls Florida and says to her father, “Don’t do ANYTHING until we get there!
We’ll be there Wednesday night.” The father agrees, “All right.” He hangs up the phone and calls out to his wife, “Okay, they’re coming for Thanksgiving.
Now, what are we going to tell them for Christmas?”
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, “What does love mean?” The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. “Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way.” “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” “Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.” “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.” “Love is hugging. Love is kissing. Love is saying no.” “Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.” As Paul writes, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13)
There are two lasting gifts we give to our children. The first gift is the gift of having roots. A man named Manoah, had a wife who was sterile and remained childless. The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, “You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, no razor may be used on his head.” The woman said he looked like an angel of God, very awesome. Then Manoah prayed to the LORD: “O Lord, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.” God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again….(Judg 13:2) The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16) Encouragement in a family is like a peanut butter sandwich–the more you spread, the better the sandwich sticks together. We do not develop habits of genuine love automatically. We learn by watching effective role models – most specifically by observing how our parents express love for each other day in and day out.” Eli was a high priest with whom the prophet Samuel lived. Eli was a deeply pious man whose service to the Lord was unblemished. However, he was a lax father who had no control over his two sons, Phinehas and Hophni. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Prov 22:6) We learn our faith because parents teach the faith. We learn our values because parents live and teach the values. We learn how to be a human being by watching our parents be human.
The second gift is the gift of wings. To give a child wings means loving that child enough to discipline the child. He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.(Prov 13:24) The Bible is filled with stories of God disciplining His children. …because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” (Heb 12:6) The word disciple comes out of the word discipline. Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul. (Prov 29:17) Discipline helps the child to learn the boundaries of life. To give a child wings means teaching that child that they are accountable to the world and to God. In the Jewish faith there is an age of accountability. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. (Luke 2:42) For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. (1 Cor 7:14)
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12) Paul writes that to “honor your father and mother” is the first is the first commandment with a promise in the Bible. How we treat our parents who have loved and cared for us so that life may go well with us and that we may enjoy a long life on the earth, is God divine plan for our lives. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer 29:10)
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? You, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, just think of how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!