What does lingering around the lunch table sharing childhood stories do for our children’s hearts? It’s just an extra 15 minutes out of our day, but to our children’s hearts it’s a lifetime!
Daddy got home today from work early and we got to enjoy a whole family lunch around the table! With a pleading twinkle in their eyes, the children begged us to share a few stories from our own childhood. I particularly relish in sharing my childhood days of picking plums from the neighbors trees, riding bikes ALL OVER town (I grew up in Oregon, in a VERY small town) gathering up pop cans (or coke cans to many) to buy a piece of candy at the local grocer. Savannah likes to hear about the time I hide a young duckling I had found under my bed. I finally broke down and told my Mom and she had me safely return it to it’s mother in the creek an hour later. Avery loves the story of when I was racing my bike down a steep hill, and unfortunately the hill comes to a violent left turn… with gravel on the corner… so I ended up in the gravel.
Today Daddy got a turn to recall some childhood memories. To be honest all our ears were perked up and ready to absorb the morsels of Daddy’s stories! He told of camping trips with brothers, and eating mostly raw bacon for breakfast because they couldn’t get a hot fire going in the rain. Of baseball playing and sleepovers with friends.
We all delighted in sharing and hearing memories over our toasted sandwiches and plums. The reason I share this with you all is because of a book that I have been reading called Old Paths For Little Feet by Carol Brandt. In her first chapter it tells of loving and enjoying our children. Making time for them and filling their cups.
“Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” Psalm 34:11 esv
“The idea of “Come” is an attitude as much as an embrace. Relish each developmental stage of childhood. Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, or grandparent, enjoy, laugh over, and celebrate each quickly passing stage. By doing so, you are saying “Come”.” Old Paths For Little Feet, by Carol Brandt, Chapter 1, pg. 18.
“…If you drive a boy from you, your power over him is gone, for you will not be able to teach him anything.” Charles Spurgeon
I also love this excerpt from that same chapter.
“One warning needs to be made: Never get the children to like you at the expense of condoning sin or forgetting who is in charge. Discipline gives stability and comfort to a child and sanity and survival to the adult! Christian principles are best received in a warm relational atmosphere balanced by clear boundaries and an underpinning knowledge of who is in charge. But, your children or grandchildren are not going to be taught to reverence God by you unless you have a welcoming attitude toward their childishness.” Chapter 1, pg. 19
As their parents we are showing an imperfect example of the relationship they are to have with God. One of respect, discipline, honor and love. We teach our children to revere God, to know God and to love God, especially taking joy in His discipline. Just as we train them to honor, respect and take joy in our (as their parents) training, instruction and discipline. They know we would not steer them wrong because of the trust and love they have for us, which comes from the time and love that we have put into them. Those extra minutes at the lunch table and the lingering moments during tuck-in at night are in reality only minutes, but in a child’s heart it is a lifetime of fond memories they will soon pass on.