Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
I was ten months into the parenting adventure. My Christmas list to do list was shaping up nicely: Decorated tree - check. Hung stockings - check. Presents purchased and wrapped - double check. I smugly evaluated my performance as a parent and thought I was on my way to my first (of no doubt many) perfect Christmases.
Someone apparently forgot to tell my daughter about my master plan. She spent the next 30 days breaking ornaments, gumming stockings and ripping wrapping paper. That first Christmas didn't turn out as I projected. In fact, the following fourteen haven't exactly gone according to my plan either.
Today I begin the book of Psalms with the first chapter. This passage compares the person who leans on God to the one who attempts life without Him. My greatest desire for my children is that they follow God with their whole hearts.
Early on, I thought the key to my parenting success would be perfect holidays, the right set of friends and well-planned activities. Somewhere after the third or fourth failed attempt at a Martha Stewart Christmas I realized I needed some Heavenly help.
Psalm 1 gives me God's parenting road map.
- Delight in God (Verse 2) - In what do my daughter's see me truly taking delight? Adorable shoes marked 80% off? The latest installment of my favorite show? Another pound shed? I must admit all these make me grin but what makes me truly shine? I pray that it is my excitement when I talk to them about my love for Jesus. The righteous delight in God.
- You are What You Think (Verse 2) - Where do I park my thoughts in the quiet of the car or those precious moments alone in the shower? Too often my silent time composes lists - errands, groceries, projects. The righteous meditate on Scripture.
- Wait Patiently (Verse 3) - I'm not certain that I'd make a very good farmer. I want to till, plant and reap in a span of a few hours. It's easy to get discouraged with child-training when I don't see the immediate results I'm looking for. The righteous puts forth fruit in due season.