“The children born when one is young are like arrows in the hand of a warrior” (Psalm 127:4 ).
The most important goal that I had for my children while I was raising them was to teach and train them using the Scriptures so they would be prepared for life now and the life to come. Spiritual training was more than rote memorization of Bible verses, it was learning how to employ spiritual truths to an everyday walk of faith. Faith is a difficult seed to plant, water, and grow.
As the keeper of the home and teacher to my children, one of my goals was to create a family unit that honestly loved and care for one another. To have children who knew their identity was in the God who created them. Though many may not believe this, there was not much sibling rivalry in our home because I did not allow it –– ever. My children learned early that their brothers and sisters were their friends, the only friends they would have throughout their lives.
My sons were taught to treat their sisters as they would future wives and my daughters were taught to treat their brothers like future husbands. There was no boy-girl rough housing, and the statement ‘boys will be boys’ was never spoken. Boys need to be trained to grow into gentlemen while girls need to be trained to be young women. I really didn’t care what others said over the past 28 years while I raised my children and today, I still don’t care. My sons have grown into young men with integrity with compassionate, giving hearts. They are not overgrown boys who lack self control and feel entitled to a free life. My daughters have become women of character and generosity. They are not little flirts who tease young men or behave like spoiled divas.
Today is my oldest son’s birthday. He’s 27. My younger son who is eight years younger wrote him this message on Facebook. I share my son’s words to encourage those who trod the narrow path differently from the rest of the world. Those who make difficult choices to separate you and your children from lukewarm friendships and inconsistent fellowship. Those who wonder if what you’re doing is the best thing for your children when others say it’s not. Those of you who should never give up, never surrender. Though the words my son wrote have nothing to do with me, these arrows born in my youth have blessed me double today.
“Today I want to wish a very happy birthday to one of the greatest role models in my life. It always seems like whenever I am making different choices in life, I find myself asking what this person would do. He is always there for me with much wisdom and great advice and has helped me to understand how to be a better man all around. It is true that children imitate and reenact the actions of the older people in their life, and I am glad that as I was growing up I had this person to demonstrate the importance of faith, a strong power of will, respectable behavior, and an unfailing work ethic. This honorable man, who is a depiction of what all God fearing men should be like, is my big brother! Happy birthday Jesse Almanrode!”
©January 28, 2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved. No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.