Yesterday, I babysat for some kids from church. Their mom had a doctor's appointment, and then the parents were going to lunch. So, when I got there, the kids were eating lunch; I sat down to join them. A few minutes later, the three year old looked up at me and asked, "Are you a kid or a mom?" I think it's so cute how she made generalizations. She perceives adults to be people with children. Since I don't have any, I must still be a kid. I told her that I was a wife, which is somewhere in between a kid and a mom.
I had so much fun with those kids. They are very sweet and well-behaved. I have noticed something: when kids come from large families, they tend to be that way. I'm not saying that if you don't come from a large family, you're not (I hope I was sweet and I only have one brother). It just seems big families have well-behaved kids. I think these six kids' mom and dad are doing a good job at training them in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).
Speaking of that, David and I talk even now about how we're going to raise our children. There are so many things from which you want to protect your kids. We even talk about the dating/courtship thing. We have such a desire to protect them (and they don't even exist yet) from the pains and sorrows of the world. I can't imagine what this feeling must be like when one actually has children.
Our pastor was talking about this in church on Sunday. He mentioned that people tend to "build a strong wall" around their children when their really young. They aren't allowed to watch certain movies, aren't allowed to listen to worldly music, etc.; then they get to be 16 or 17, and the wall isn't purposefully torn down, it's simply neglected. With neglect, anything will break down. I'm so thankful for parents who didn't neglect the wall that they built around me as a child. They realized that even as a teenager with a driver's license, I still needed lots guidance and instruction! Actually, I received their wise counsel up until the day that I got married, and I still ask them many things now! Unfortunately, I did not always have a perfect attitude about receiving their instruction. There were certainly times that I felt I had everything figured out, and didn't necessarily need their advice. I'm thankful that regardless of my feelings I obeyed my parents.
Take a look at these verses:
Proverbs 11:14: Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. (Doesn't this cause you to think of children who are left to themselves all day after school? Both parents are at work, often not giving any direction to their children. Children need training!)
Proverbs 19:20: Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
Proverbs 20:18: Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.