Will They Be Like You?


We recently learned that our youngest daughter is expecting a boy in December.  We have two wonderful granddaughters by our oldest daughter so this will be the first grandson.  Well of course I had to go walk through the baby department to see what is out there for boys.  As I was browsing I heard this loud voice and I looked and there was this very tall, athletic man on a Blue-tooth talking away.  He had a little 7-8 year old girl tagging behind.   They were in the little girls department next to infants so I could hear and see the whole incident.  Obviously dad had her out to look for things for her.  Maybe mom had the little one’s at home, maybe it was his weekend … it really did not matter, it simply was not ‘her time’.  The conversation went like this, “yeah man, it was like that game when the Bucs (Tampa Bay’s football team) played … you know, the year before they won the Superbowl”.   OK, time reference here … the man is discussing a game circa 2001.  His little girl probably was not born.  I wanted to shake him and say, “look at her face … see your child … what are you doing?”   I wanted to go to the little girl and tell her to pull up Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s In The Cradle” and play it for her dad.

Where is your focus?  Children know when they are not getting your best.  God’s word says in Matthew chapter 6, that He loves us and cares for us.  He knows our every need and want and He takes care of us.  As Christians we are to mirror God’s parenting as we parent our children.  I do not see God with a cell phone in His hand, watching His favorite TV show, or reading a book.   He is not out playing some sports game, or going to some event at our expense.  Our children get their value of themselves from us.  We tell them by our actions how valuable they are.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing things for yourself as long it is not at your child’s expense.  No matter if you chose to be a parent at this time or not, you are the parent.   The child comes first.

I remember growing up watching a relative with their kids and comparing them to my parents in my head.   If there was a cake to be divided that parent would always make sure they got a piece,  the biggest piece.  Yet if there was dessert on our table, my mom (who LOVED dessert and would eat it at the beginning of the meal  if she could) always made sure we got some and then if any was left she had some.  One time  my dad gave mom the money to go buy herself a new coat, TWICE.  After she returned from the store twice with things for all her five children, the third time dad drove her to the store and stayed until she bought herself a coat.  She taught us how valuable we were.  It was not just ‘things’ either.  She spent time on her knees for us; she made our favorite foods; she went to the school events; was PTA and band booster presidents.  She invested her life in us.  She was a mom first, and “Gwen” … well, after all others’ needs were met.

My goal was to grow up to be a mom like her and to raise children that felt loved and valued and then they would pass it on to the next generation.   Throughout the Old Testament (like in Leviticus and I Samuel) there are stories told of ‘sins of the fathers’ being passed on to generations.  Basically, this means sin begets sin.  A drunk raises drunks; a thief raises a thief, a liar a liar …  an adulterer raises an adulterer; and an inattentive and unloving parent raises another generation of inattentive and unloving parent.  The cycle stops when someone in the chain makes a conscious decision to repent of the pattern of sin in their family and chooses to move forward in God’s strength leaving the past sins of the father’s behind.  Then and only then, will God heal the family.

Leviticus 26:39-43 (New International Version)
39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away.
40 ” ‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees.

Your kids, they’re going to grow up to be just like you!  Scared?

Is God Deaf?

Do you know how your kids quit listening when you are screaming at them?  Or how you quit hearing someone who is too loud and just get angry and tune them out?   Noise.   Sometimes we are just noise.  I wonder what God feels about noise?

“God’s word says in Psalm 100:1,  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.”

Is God Deaf? Then Why Do We Act Like it?

But, what is noise?  Webster’s Dictionary says:

1 : loud, confused, or senseless shouting or outcry
2 a : sound; especially : one that lacks agreeable musical quality or is noticeably unpleasant b : any sound that is undesired or interferes with one’s hearing of something c : an unwanted signal or a disturbance (as static or a variation of voltage) in an electronic device or instrument (as radio or television); broadly : a disturbance interfering with the operation of a usually mechanical device or system d : electromagnetic radiation (as light or radio waves) that is composed of several frequencies and that involves random changes in frequency or amplitude e : irrelevant or meaningless data or output occurring along with desired information
3 : common talk : rumor; especially : slander
4 : something that attracts attention <the play…will make little noise in the world — Brendan Gill>
5 : something spoken or uttered
6 : a style of rock music that is loud, often discordant, and usually uses electronic noise (as feedback)

I seriously doubt this is what God was looking for, however, sometimes I think that is what we give Him.   Is God deaf?  Of course not, but sometimes we praise Him as if He is.  Louder is not always better if the message is lost and we are not drawn closer to the Lord.  The Lord and His message should always be the utmost focus of our praise no matter how we are praising.

How are we teaching our children to praise the Lord?  Everyone is different and they all need to be able to praise Him.   The Bible in Basic English translation says, “Make a glad sound to the Lord, all the earth.”  Now, that I can relate to. Last night was one of those nights where you hear everything; the distant train, the frogs croaking, the cat stretching.  They were all soft sounds, but I heard them all distinct and clear.  This morning I went out to work in the yard before the sun hit the area.  I heard a dove cooing, a lizard scurrying, a squirrel’s chatter.  All soft, but I heard them.  I like quiet.  Quiet, quiets me.  When Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane the Bible says in Matthew 26:36-46, that He knelt alone in quiet prayer.  When I am praying and praising the Lord, the quieter I get, the more I am praising Him.  That is who I am, because I am an outgoing, outspoken person, I need to be quiet to praise the Lord the most.  Everyone praises differently.  Everything praises the Lord. Niagara is magnificent, but there are more underground streams, babbling brooks, forest and mountain streams then there are magnificent waterfalls. All life praises the Lord. The soaring Eagle praises the Lord, but so does the Hummingbird whose wings are the only sound you hear.

Children as they grow learn how to praise the Lord in their own way. Some, unfortunately, are just following their peers.   So many are just  following the ‘band’ and not the ‘leader’. They talk about ‘the band’ and not the ‘leader’ or His ‘message’. When they go to hear the band  they talk only  about how good the music was and they never mention the Lord or His message.  This is when they have raised a false god and have lost sight of the ‘leader’ and the ‘message’. Encourage your child to praise the Lord in their own way as long as they always hear His message and focus on the Lord.

Psalm 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters…

Ecclesiastes 9:17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-1211Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

1 Peter 3:4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

MLA Style
“noise.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010.

Merriam-Webster Online. 21 June 2010

APA Style