January 30, 2015

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.

This is a very famous verse, and we ignore its truth to the peril of our families and our society. Various people have put it to evil use, including the Communists and the Nazis. “Impressionable” is an appropriate term to use with children, because like clay they tend to retain what is pressed into them. For some, it is more like “memory foam,” that retains the impression for a while and then reverts, but some personalities and some circumstances make it more like potter’s clay, which when fired retains its shape until shattered. Parents take their responsibility to train their children all too lightly much of the time, entrusting their education to whomever is convenient and not recognizing that the home is the foundation of all education. That’s not to say that every child should be home-schooled by any means, but it is to say that what happens outside of the house is secondary to what happens inside it. The foundation stones are very simple: the awareness that they are loved and worthy of love, and that those around them are worthy of love and respect as well. Sadly, many children don’t acquire that awareness. I tell couples that apart from the bare necessities of food, shelter and clothing, children need only two things: the awareness that Mommy and Daddy love them, and the awareness that Mommy and Daddy love each other. Any child with those two things firmly in place is well on the way to a good life.

I could go on and on about this for some time, but this isn’t the place for that. I have had the privilege of interpreting for Don and Katie Fortune multiple times as they have taught on Motivational Gifts, which are in a sense what we are as human beings, and I find myself wanting to go through their teaching often in various counseling situations. I am to use that Bible-based understanding of human personality not only in my teaching but also in my various interactions, recognizing individual differences and making allowance for them. Especially in my marital/parental counseling I am to seek to help people understand that our differences are a good thing: we aren’t supposed to be identical. What is appropriate for one person, and especially for one child, isn’t going to be the same as what is appropriate for another. When we try to force children into molds that aren’t appropriate for them, they will depart from them as soon as they can! I’ve got to teach, and exercise, the foundations of love and respect, so that homes may be healthy. Only then will society as a whole be healthy. It all comes back to allowing the character of Jesus Christ to be expressed through me, for His glory.

Father, sometimes I go into overload, there’s so much I want people to know and understand. I certainly empathize with what Jesus said in the Upper Room: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” (John 16:12) I tend to overload people with more than they can absorb. Help me speak what You want said when You want it said, in Your love, so that Your truth may indeed penetrate and set people free, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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