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Seeking Wisdom, Day 27 – Making My Heart Glad

March 20, 2016

(Proverbs 27: 11) “Be wise my child, and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics.”

(Proverbs 27: 19) “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.”

What do parents and grandparents desire? They want wise children, children whose actions and attitudes please them and society in general, and reflect well the values and morals of their parents. We appeal to our children, “Be Good. Behave. Don’t embarrass me.” We fear our critics, but love our children as we try to make them ‘civilized’, meaning make them able to live in harmony with those around them. Helping our children live harmonious and productive lives in the real world is a time-consuming and frustrating job. Ask any parent.

My sister and I were brought up by our grandmother. Nanny had a few rules that she declared often enough for me to remember today: “Speak when spoken to, come when called, mind your own business, and that will be all.” We answered her with, “What’s the use of living?” She gave us a swat and promised to tell our mother. I guess she had a poor memory or a sense of humor..

Mother, a widow who worked as a riveter at General Motors, came home tired. Her admonitions were more subtle as revealed in this verse, barely remembered. ” ‘I love you mother’ said little Fay. She threw her mother a kiss and ran away. …’I love you mother,’ said little Ray, ‘How can I help you today?'” Get the point? We did, but we were probably more of a hindrance than a help to our exhausted mother.

We can see ourselves and what we have become in our children. We cannot leave our training behind as we move on, and neither can our children. Our children reflect their parents. If we don’t like what we see, we must look inward. If they are happy and seem well adjusted, we approve and our happiness is reflected in our faces and attitudes.

Actually Solomon believes in ‘sparing the rod, and spoiling the child.’ I don’t believe we need to go that far. Physical punishment hurts the parent and does little to correct the child. It builds resentment and hostility. Catch a child doing something well and praise him. “This is a lovely picture, Son, and how nicely you’ve put your crayons away. What a clever boy you are, and here’s a hug.”

Our hearts, souls, and faces reflect the joys we have in our children.




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