Child’s Play

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Lori Dixon encourages parents to train up their children yet also let them find their own way, no matter what age.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

As a young girl, I recall my mother coming up behind me when I would be baking or cooking. Seeing me struggle, she would take the bowl out of my hands and show me how to whip or stir correctly.

Defeated and stubborn, I would toss the bowl into the sink as soon as she handed it back and storm up to my room. I hated correction of any kind and was not a submissive kid. Driving lessons did not go much better . . . but at least she never had to take the steering wheel.

Now, an orphan at forty-something, I weep to think of all the things I wish she was here to teach me – now that I’m finally teachable. Oh how I squandered opportunities to take and glean from her wisdom.

Today, I am also a mom of two young women myself. Ever aware of the feeling I had of, ‘I can’t do anything right,’ I have tried my best to not discourage the girls when they take on domestic chores. In fact, some things they do much better than I do . . . others . . . not so much!

So, do we come alongside in correction? Or do we scurry behind them redoing the tasks that don’t measure up to our standards (when they’re not looking of course)? Perhaps there are times when we should just be their cheerleaders and give them healthy, true doses of encouragement.

I’m throwing out these questions because I think the answer is yes, yes and yes! At every age and in different situations, we need to train them up but also let them find their own way as well.

Lord, I am so thankful that You gave me a godly mom who loved You more than a clean kitchen. I thank You that while I may not have learned how to make the best pastry in town, she taught me how to worship and love You. Help us as mothers to train up our children in what You’ve called us to be and do . . . worshipers who obey. 

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