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Surfing the Internet a couple of weeks ago. I came across the following item -- it is called Kids speak a different language: Parents frequently make the mistake of thinking they speak the same language as their children. At first, it seems we're all speaking English but, on closer inspection, it becomes clear that kids and parents speak entirely different dialects. In the interest of better trans-generational communication, here are some key phrases and their translations.

"I don't have room to finish my hamburger." Meaning: Your kid has eaten enough.

"I don't have room to finish my fish." Meaning: Your kid, who doesn't much like fish in the first place, figures she's eaten enough to satisfy you and still get dessert.

"I don't have room to finish my dessert." Meaning: Your child is sick and should be taken to the doctor ASAP.

"I didn't do it." Meaning: It hasn't been conclusively proven that I did it.

"Mom said it was okay." Meaning: I'm going to ask Mom as soon as you say "yes."

"Dad, can I have a dog?" Meaning: Your kid wants a dog.

"Dad, can I have a boa constrictor?" Meaning: Your kid wants a dog, but figures asking for something really awful puts him in a better bargaining position.

I think that all parents can testify that their children do speak a different language than they do -- and it is one of the reasons that it is hard to bring up children -- it is written in Proverbs 22:6: "Bring up a child in the way he should go -- and when he is old he will not soon depart from it,"

That is a wonderful promise from God. One that comes true time and time again!

We teach our children by example and not by any other way. If we lead godly lives -- then the odds are that they will lead godly lives. But if we tell our children things like you should go to church until you are old enough to make your minds and then drop them off at the Sunday School door, the child figures out very quickly that we don't think that church -- that God -- is important and they will end up chomping at the bit to accompany you on Sunday mornings to your yard sales, your golf games, your ball fields -- or whatever it is that you do when you fail to worship God with them.

The best thing that we can do for our children is for each one of us to personally get right with God and to walk in the way of the Lord the way that he showed us -- with his prayers and his worship the way he showed us -- with his acceptance and his forgiveness the way he showed us -- with his reaching out to people to show them love -- to bring them healing -- and to teach them the truth.

Parenting is never easy being a father -- or a mother -- has incredible challenges -- incredible pains -- as well as incredible joys. We can do no better thing for our children than personal walking in the way we should go so that we can bring them up in that way and have the assurance that then, when they are old -- they themselves will not soon depart from it.

•••

Editor's note: The Rev. Dr. Scott Stewart is the pastor of Pea Ridge United Methodist Church and Brightwater Methodist Church. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. He can be contacted at revjstewart@gmail.com or 479-659-9519.

Religion on 03/25/2020

Print Headline: Parents should set the example

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