I realize that I utilize Proverbs 22:6 an awful lot in my messages, but it is one of the greatest challenges and inspirations I know of for our ministry. It says, “Train up a child in the way he (she) should go, and when he (she) is old, he (she) will not depart from it.” After games Saturday my wife and I returned home to prepare for “Lasagna Night” which is my daughter’s choice for her birthday celebration each year. There were lots of friends and family at our house and a good time was had by all. My grandsons were there and were good hosts to all of the young ones who got the tour of the play room. After the party, my oldest grandson asked his mom and dad if he could stay at our (Meme and Granddaddy’s) house for the night. They agreed and we enjoyed having him as we always do.
Ever since my son and daughter were toddlers we have maintained a routine of prayers and songs at bedtime. My son and daughter in law have included a nightly Bible story as well. Having started the day with a 9am CSports T-Ball game, Jackson was especially tired when we declared bedtime around 9:00pm. As I laid next to him saying prayers with all of the “God blesses” etc., I could tell from his breathing he had already gone to sleep. Still, I continued and completed the prayer. Then, yes, I was tired, too, with tears in my eyes, I began singing to my sleeping grandson who couldn’t even hear me. For thirty something years it’s been Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and a few others mixed in. Every time though, I end with Bill Gaither’s song, Things We Must Tell the Children. See the words below:
SOME THINGS WE MUST TELL THE CHILDREN
HOW CAN WE TELL YOU THE THINGS WE MUST TELL YOU, THINGS THAT WE WANT YOU TO KNOW. ALL ABOUT LIVING AND REASONS FOR GIVING AND THINGS THAT WILL HELP YOU TO GROW. OH WE’VE WATCHED YOUR DIET, TAUGHT YOU TO BE QUIET IN PLACES OF WORSHIP AND SCHOOL. WE’VE KEPT YOU WELL GROOMED IN A NICE TIDY ROOM AND WE’VE MENTIONED THE GOLDEN RULE. BUT ALONG THE WAY DID YOUR HEART HEAR US SAY THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO EARN OUR LOVE. NOT A THING YOU COULD DO COULD MAKE US STOP LOVING YOU JUST THE JOY THAT YOU’VE BROUGHT IS ENOUGH. THERE ISN’T A THING THAT THE FUTURE COULD BRING THAT COULD TAKE BACK THE GIFT THAT YOU ARE. YOU ARE A TREASURE WE NEVER COULD MEASURE. JUST SOME THINGS WE MUST TELL THE CHILDREN.
I’M SURE WE’VE TOLD YOU TO MIND ALL YOUR MANNERS AND GET TO APPOINTMENTS ON TIME, AND DID WE REMIND YOU TO HANG UP YOUR CLOTHES AND TO FINISH THE HOMEWORK ASSIGNED. YOU’VE LEARNED TO CARE FOR YOUR TEETH AND YOUR HAIR AND YOU MAKE YOUR OWN BED EVERY DAY. YOU’VE GOT DECENT GRADES AND YOUR LUNCH MONEY’S PAID AND YOU WON YOUR FIRST GAME YESTERDAY. BUT DID WE MAKE IT CLEAR, WERE YOU ABLE TO HEAR AS YOU SKIPPED THROUGH THE HOUSE AND OUR LIVES THAT GOD HAS A PLAN THAT YOU MUST UNDERSTAND NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU’VE “ARRIVED”. NEVER STOP DREAMING KEEP WORKING AND SINGING BUT REMEMBER JUST WHOSE CHILD YOU ARE. STAND TALL AND WALK STRAIGHT AND BE HOME BEFORE EIGHT, JUST SOME THINGS WE MUST TELL THE CHILDREN.
AND WHATEVER YOU DO, REMEMBER WE LOVE YOU. JUST SOME THINGS WE MUST TELL THE CHILDREN.
I thought, what if, God forbid, this is the last time I’ll get to sing this to him? Have I done everything I could for my kids and grandkids to know these important things? My son and daughter have both grown up well, gotten a great education, chosen wonderful mates, and had amazing children, all of whom my wife and I get to spend time with each week. Am I missing anything in conveying to them my love for God and how important it is for them to share their blessings with others? Blessings and expectations are closely related. Daily interaction with our young ones is important in terms of consistency as we teach and model the important things. We do that on the ball fields as well. Please never take for granted what you are doing when the young eyes are looking at you. Love and teach to love. Serve and teach to serve. Be kind and teach kindness. Worship and teach to worship. Praise through prayer and singing whenever you can.
This has been on my heart for two days. Thanks for letting me share.
In His Service,
Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister
Christ United Methodist Church
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6