Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Children: Building the foundation

We all know how precious children are, how each one captures the miracle of life.  Recently I was reflecting on the critical importance of the early years in each child's life and how experiences and relationships have magnified importance in the shaping of each child.  I suppose the tragedy at Virginia Tech has prompted me to highlight this.  In my own life the memories of early childhood have a consistent melody of love.  I don't think there was a single day when the love of my parents and grandparents for me was not expressed in attitude, action and word.  Some of my warmest early memories are of simple things: watching my grandpa shaving with a face full of lather, receiving tons of gifts and treats when I had the chicken pox or mumps, the excitement of being taken out of 2nd grade by my Dad to go to the circus.  Now that we have a grandson, I am keenly interested in communicating love with my eyes, voice and play because it is obvious that he is absorbing and reflecting all the inputs he receives each day.  I just don't think you can overstate the strategic importance of the first years.  Somehow the foundation is being laid in self image and the framework for valuing others during that time.  It's as if the nature and quality of each day has several times the power to shape development over days experienced later in life.  We all know how precious children are.  Let's invest those early years with all the ingredients of love (not forgetting discipline), a high view of people, and a high view of the Lord so that our children have the best opportunity to grow into maturity with a strong and tender view of themselves, others around them, and their loving Lord.
Psalm 78:
  3 what we have heard and known,
       what our fathers have told us.

 4 We will not hide them from their children;
       we will tell the next generation
       the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
       his power, and the wonders he has done.

 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
       and established the law in Israel,
       which he commanded our forefathers
       to teach their children,

 6 so the next generation would know them,
       even the children yet to be born,
       and they in turn would tell their children.


Rob Smith

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