Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100:2-5)
WHEN BABIES ARE BORN, they come with a certain number and kind of bones, two eyes, one nose and one mouth and two ears. Then we get down to counting fingers and toes and a hundred other things that only a pediatrician has names for. One thing a baby is not equipped with is a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving. They are born without any knowledge of God. They have to be taught those things.
A YOUNG COUPLE GETS MARRIED AND FOR A WHILE they are the center of the universe and everything revolves around them. But when the first baby is born, the couple’s universe evaporates and is no more. A new boss has moved in and the couple will now sleep when the baby says they can sleep. The couple can eat after, and only after, the new center of the universe is full, comfortable, and has need of nothing. To think of this new little, cute, sweet, cuddly person turning into a “thankful” individual is a stretch.
OH, IT CAN HAPPEN, OFTEN HAPPENS and the baby slowly turns into a thankful human being. Be assured of this one very big thing: every baby is born with a will of his/her own and the child, the wonderful child, is going to explore a thousand ways to exercise their God-given will and…rule…everyone they possibly can.
IT'S A HARD THING TO MOVE FROM BEING THE FAMILY BOSS to humbly, sweetly, habitually saying: “thank you.” The child has an entitlement mentality and like shedding diapers, the entitlement mentality must be balanced out with duty and performance.
IT IS GOD'S PLAN THAT PARENTS CARE FOR THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD; food, housing, clothing and many other things that only parents can do. The government is not equipped to raise a child. Beyond the duty to care for the physical needs of the child is the parents’ duty to train the child to know and obey the Lord, respect other people, including other children and to embrace their ever-growing duties.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS A CHILD NEEDS TO LEARN is to say “thank you” for a stick of gum and to respect the one who gave it. Character training is as important as food. If the parents do not teach character to their children, the police may have to do the job for the parent. But prisons are not equipped to raise, or train children and prisons rarely can reform a young person. Rather, they most often learn how to be a more highly skilled criminal while in jail while their teachers are locked up with them.
WHEN I WAS A PASTOR AND MY CHILDREN WERE SMALL, people would slip them a piece of gum or a piece of candy. Of course, the sugar would wind them up, but I watched to see if they would say “thank you.” I was the “thank you” cop. Before I was grown, I knew for certain that if a child was not trained to say “thank you” for a stick of gum, they were being trained to be a self-centered little criminal and that trait would go with them wherever they went.
MY MAMA AND DADDY TAUGHT ME LITTLE CIVIL THINGS LIKE "THANK YOU" and how to use a knife and fork and spoon and simple table manners. They assigned me little jobs to do and taught me to work and be responsible for my duties. It helped me to be comfortable and secure with other people and gave me self-respect. Children should be taught to help keep the house clean and how to prepare little simple meals. Mama may get sick and children need to know how to pick up the slack and get things done. That’s part of being a family.
CHILDREN SHOULD BE TAUGHT HOW A FAMILY FUNCTIONS and why everyone should do their job in the home. It is bad to teach a child that they have no duty but everyone else has the duty to serve them. Not good! There’s an old Jewish proverb: “The father who does not teach his son a trade, teaches him to steal.”
SAYING "GRACE" BEFORE EVERY MEAL IS VITAL TRAINING for a young child. It should be gentle, loving, and kind. It should also be firm and regular. “This is what we do, and this is how we do it.” The training of children in social graces will not save their eternal soul, but it will train them to respect the presence of other people and to be mindful of the presence of God, whom they cannot see.
WE BOW OUR HEAD AND SAY: "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. By His hand we must be fed; thank you Lord for daily bread. In Jesus name, Amen.”
AFTER A WHILE, THE OLDEST CHILD CAN BE ASKED: “Do you want to lead us in thanking God for our food?” Not to be pushy; not a forced thing. But, in a natural way, sooner or later the child will begin to take their place in the family and praying to God and will feel comfortable in hearing their voice speak to the God they cannot see.
LET'S TEACH OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO BE THANKFUL. Don’t be surprised if when they have visitors and they are playing family, that they include saying grace at whatever they pretend is their table. Ω
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH IN A YEAR
NOVEMBER 20, 2018 - TUESDAY
A.M Ezekiel 22-23 P.M James 2
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Psalm 100:4)
Song for Today:
Steal Away to Jesus (2:03) (Calv. Mem. Quartet)
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