Yesterday was a fun day for this Nana and her Papa. We spent the day with two of our three grand blessings, ages nine and four, shopping and eating lunch at their favorite restaurant. Why? No special reason—just because.
These girls love to shop! We used to take them to the dollar store and tell them they could each pick out three things. You know that old saying, “As happy as a clam”, that described this experience for a couple of years. Then our oldest learned the art of negotiation and three things went to five. One day we were at a Dollar Store next to a new, bright and shiny store called Five Below and we had to go inside. The Dollar Store was no longer the favorite place to shop.
One day we were out and stopped at Claire’s. At that moment it seemed, the world rocked, lightening crashed, and The Hallelujah Chorus rang out for our oldest grand blessing. She was mesmerized. Of course, grand blessing #1 shared that experience with grand blessing #2 and she, too, fell in love with this little girl’s paradise. Yesterday, we had to visit Claire’s before eating lunch, even though these girls were hungry!
Amid all the jewelry, makeup and hair paraphernalia, my oldest grand blessing whispered in my ear. “Do you hear that song. It is not appropriate.” I was not paying attention to the music playing over the store’s speaker but this smart and attentive nine-year-old pays attention to everything.
That made my heart happy and sad at the same time. I was happy and so thankful that our grand blessings have parents who are teaching them well and following what the Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6:
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.
It made me sad that our kids, today, are bombarded with inappropriate sounds and images everywhere.
As our culture argues about the gender of a plastic toy potato and a beloved children’s author is now considered racist, our children are taking all of this in and many are growing up with no moral absolutes.
I read a quote this week that said, “If we don’t teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” I think that sums it up. Just like the music in the store yesterday, even when we are not paying attention, the world is doing everything they can to influence our kids, and they are paying attention.
The Bible tells us that after God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he told the people of Israel the following in Deuteronomy 6:5-9:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, and when you lie down or get up. Write them down and tie them around your wrist and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
And again, in Deuteronomy 11:19:
Teach them to your children, talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.
Someone I have grown to like very much in the past year often says, “Growing up is hard. The Bible can help you know what to do when you don’t know what to do, but you have to hide it in your heart first.”
Our kids need to know the truth that is in the Bible and how much Jesus loves them. The world has become a crazy and frightening place for all, but especially for our children.
If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend take advantage of any moment you have to share the love of Jesus with our children. Growing up for them is so much more difficult than it was for us.