Deuteronomy 11:19 (NIV)
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
I read a story that was told during a business training seminar. To illustrate motivation, the trainer asked one of the business executives in the audience to come forward.
The trainer said, "I want you to imagine that I have placed a wooden beam across the floor here and I would like for you to walk from one end of the beam to the other end. Would you do that for $20?"
The man said that he would.
Then leader continued, "Now, I want you to imagine that I take that same beam and raise it up to the top of a forty-story building and run it across the street to another tall building. Would you still walk across the beam for $20?"
This time the man answered that he would not.
"How about for a $100?"
"No!" The man emphasized.
The trainer forged ahead. "You have a child, right?"
"This time, what if I were to hold your child over the edge of the building and tell you that if you do not walk across the beam I will drop your child. Would you walk across?"
Surprisingly, the father hesitated for a beat, then smiled and asked, "Which child do you have?"
The trainer, of course, was right in assuming that a parent's devotion to a child is usually greater than almost any amount of fear associated with saving that child. Most parents love their children fiercely and would do anything possible to help them.
An eastern newspaper reported that a train in Bangladesh accidentally struck a calf elephant. The mother elephant apparently became upset over the incident, for a little while later another train came along and spotted the female standing in the middle of the track. Though the engineer blasted his horn, she would not budge. When the train came to a halt, she began butting it with her head! For fifteen minutes she hammered the engine, rendering it inoperable. Once satisfied, she walked off into the jungle, stranding two hundred passengers for five hours while they waited for a replacement engine! Someone should hang a sign around her neck that reads: DON'T MESS WITH MY KID!
Such a devotion to family is only natural in humans. And though many of us may never be in a position to actually have to save a child's physical life, we can channel our devotion into other, equally productive, areas.
1. Devote LOTS of time to your child. Quality time means nothing if it rarely occurs. Spend time reading, laughing, playing, exploring, learning, talking, and just sitting quietly together.
2. Devote LOTS of positive attention to your child. Let her know she is important by the way you speak and listen to her.
3. Devote LOTS of love to your child. He is one of the most important people you'll ever have the privilege of knowing.
4. Devote LOTS of energy to learning how to be the best parent possible. All of our children are different and require different skills from us.
5. Devote LOTS of yourself, and you'll never regret the valuable investment.
Dear Lord, thanks for the children You have given to us. We pray that no matter their age that we will be devoted to them. Help us to continue to be the guidance You want us to be for them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.