Monday, April 6, 2009

Listen My Children.....

"Come, my children, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord."
~Psalm 34:11~
(Mother and Son by Robert Duncan photo source)

Today I am celebrating Mother's Day. It is not the one on the calendar that all mother's celebrate together each May, but the one on which I became a mother for the very first time. Today I will enter my 28th year of being a mother. I have been quite reflective today, thinking back over all those years and thinking forward to the coming ones. I think I have but one regret and that is for the missed opportunities of faith training by coming to Christ later in life, but I choose not to dwell on what cannot be changed and thankful for what was changed. My son is now a husband, a father, and the spiritual leader of his home. He has now stepped into the shoes of being a faith trainer of his little son and with another little addition arriving in September.

I used to wonder if his father and I trained him well enough. We only had seven short years as believers before he left our home to make his own. Part of this time, being babes ourselves in new found faith, we just had to grow up together. I confess we made plenty of mistakes and outright blunders. I pray that somehow we had done more harm than good.

One of my prayers for my son has been that by God's grace he would be able to make it on what little foundation of faith we had been able to offer him. I used to wonder if it was enough. Had we really gotten across to him the importance of faithfulness and continued efforts at growth and focus on God. I wondered if life and its requirements of family, work, or pleasure would crowd out and take over that growing relationship with God. I knew how easily life can happen and having a vital relationship with our Heavenly Father takes concentrated effort and requires time. So, I spent much time storing up prayers for those future times in his life.

As I opened my Bible to Psalm 34 and began to read, verse 11 captured my attention. "Come, my children, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord." A scene I recently witnessed at the library flashed through my mind. A storyteller sat in the midst of a crowd of children and held their rapt attention as she shared a story with them. I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be awesome to capture your child's rapt attention during those early faith training years?" I wondered what I might have taught my son during that time.

As I drove home with the sight of those children so eager to hear and learn fresh on my mind I began to think what advice I would offer my own son in regard to faith training with his son. As I drove, God inspired me with some teaching points in the form of a poem based on Psalm 34: 11.

Listen My Children

Listen my children and you shall hear,
How to love the Lord and of godly fear.

We will teach you to do good,
To find peace and pursue it as you should.

The Lord is near to those that pray,
You must seek Him night and day.

For He promises life full and long,
When you follow Him you can't go wrong.

Listen, our little ones, guard your speech,
It is God's truth that we are trying to teach.

Taste and see that the Lord is good,
And obey Him as you always should.

It is our honor, privilege, and prayer,
To teach you with discipline, dedication, and care.

Sin not little feet that are so swift to run,
For God's punishment is no fun.

Sin not little hands, be gentle, kind, and never mean,
May your hands be washed and stay clean.

For the dirt of sin clings hard and fast,
It's lingering stains can last and last.

Sin not little mind with thoughts ugly and black,
When you do things God's way, nothing will you lack.

Sin not little eyes at that which you look,
Keep thought and vision on God's Holy Book.

Sin not little heart but be filled with truth,
With God's Word hidden in your heart, you will be living proof.

Proof of the love of a Savior that died,
Proof of the truth of which He testified.

Proof of His love so great and strong,
Proof that He gives us life eternity long.

Be swift little child to run to your Heavenly Father,
Remember to Him nothing is a bother.

Bow on your knees and spend time in prayer,
Remember when you do, He is always there.

He always listens, helps, and sends comfort,
We can run to the safety of His strong fort.

Be generous of time, talent, and treasure,
You will receive God's blessings beyond measure.

Don't let reward your motivation be,
But to honor God and bring Him glory.

Listen my children and you shall hear,
Of the way to God who is ever near.

Open your heart when you hear Him call,
Do not delay, do not stall.

Salvation is free, a gift from above,
Given by Jesus and bestowed upon us by His great love.

His Spirit will then in your heart dwell,
All will be swept clean and all made well.

Listen my children and you shall hear,
How to love the Lord and of godly fear.

Now to you parents, these are some of things I would teach,
If it was for Jesus I wanted my children to reach.

I would ask God to make me to be,
A living example and reflection of He.

I would ask Him for wisdom and grace beyond measure,
To enable me to faithfully and consistently raise His little treasure.

This is a treasure that is only on loan,
Someday you will release it to be on its own.

Whether it stands or falters and fails,
May well depend upon the cross an those nails.

Do they know Jesus, does He live in their heart?
This is the place that I would start.

Be patient, loving, kind, and strong,
With His help you can't go wrong.

Looking to the Lord each step of the way,
Seeking His direction choosing wisely what you say.

Tell them the truth and show them the way,
Don't live with regret on some future day.

My fears were unfounded and the time we had to train was just enough to root and ground our son in the important stuff. It's never too late, start where you are and God will meet you there. I have watched him grow into a wonderful man, husband, and father as well as assuming his role of faith trainer for the next generation of our family. This is the best Mother's Day gift I could ever receive. Happy Birthday to my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

Miss Sandy


Susie said...

What a beautiful poem. You amaze me Sandy! Happy birthday to your son. He sounds like a great young man.

Sue said...

This poem brought tears to my eyes.
I too fear that the short time I tried my best to "train my child up in the way they should go" was ill spent by me. I find myself wallowing in self doubt sometimes. My daughter was taught and believes, but is choosing not to fully obey right now. She and her soon to be fiance are coming to church with us on Sunday...I am SOOO praying that the Lord prepares their hearts and minds to receive the truth of His Word.

I plan on re-reading your poem many, many times.

God Bless! And thank God your son is living "in the way he should go"!

Vee said...

Wonderful tribute to your son, Miss Sandy. I hope that he's enjoyed a wonderful birthday. I can only think of one thing worse than having seven childhood years to be raised in a Christian home and that is to have only six, five...none. Wonderful poem, too!

SharDon Exclusives said...

That is the loveliest poem! I have always "wished" and "Prayed" I had done some things differently but they were raised in a Christian home with parents that loved them & continue to pray for them & their children. God bless you for sharing such lovely thoughts and prayers...Sharon

Samantha said...

What a beautiful poem. Happy Mother's Day!

Andrea said...

Thank you for sharing such beautiful, inspiring, spiritual words of life. God is so good, and I praise Him along with you for His blessings in your life. This post is a testimony to God's love for you and your love and faithfulness to Him and your family! Grace to you.


KathyB. said...

Beautiful poem and I am sure it will melt your son's heart, and your grandchildren and family will indeed know you as a source of strength and inspiration that comes from God. Happy Mother's Day to you Miss Sandy and Happy Birthday to your son!

kathy said...

SAndy - i love this -- My oldest son just had his Birthday April 1-- we are so blessed that all three of our children know and love and serve Jesus -They have not been perfect - but are saved by Grace -- There are things I wish I had done differently, but GOd wants me to look forward , not always backward -- but as we pray and seek God --we gain wisdom - it does not all come upon us when we are saved .. May your week be blessed -- In his Love --Kathy - ga

bluemuf said...

Miss Sandy, what a lovely poem you wrote. You are one special lady. Happy Mother's day to you and a Happy Birthday to your son.

Hugs Karen

Barbara H. said...

What a sweet post, Sandy. I think we are all concerned about whether we taught our children everything we should have, not matter when we came to Christ. One good thing God could bring out of your coming to Him later is that your children were old enough to see a difference, to see a change in the way of doing things. I did not grow up in a Christian family, and one concern for my children growing up in a Christian family was that they might just "go with the flow" and never develop their own personal relationship with the Lord. I pray that is not the case and pray often for them to do just that, to have and then develop their own relationship with Him and to grow in it rather than just going through the motions because that's the "lifestyle" they're used to.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

This was such an apt post for me! My sweet daughter turned 20 on Saturday. Where has the time gone? I wondered had I treasured every little thing?
What a gift it is to be blessed with the joys and sorrows of motherhood.

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