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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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THE POWER OF PARENTING!

Babs Bell Hajdusiewcz humorously noted and celebrated both the pride and perils that come with parenthood in the following poem:

"First-time parents never miss a single tiny feat.  They film it, note it, and shout it in the street: 'He smiled today! Had four BMs! He spit up on the cat! He got a tooth! He slept all night- can you imagine that?!' But second-timers note the facts and take each one in stride: 'He's learned to take his diaper off- you'd better step aside!' "

Parenthood is a mixed bag, at times bringing life's highest highs, and at other times its lowest lows.  But stepping aside is the one thing parents must not do.  The mind and soul and character of every child is going to be shaped by someone.  In 30 B.  C.  Virgil penned penetrating words about the formative years of child-rearing: "As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines.  "After noting this bit of ancient but always relevant wisdom, author Dennis Rainey, in his book,One Family At A Time,asks, "Who will put the 'bend' in your child?And which way will he or she lean (p 131)

"The Bible places the power to bend the twig of a child's character and soul squarely in the hands of parents.  Three familiar "parenting" passages sum up the powerful position and awesome responsibility of parents:  (1)  Proverbs 22:6-"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.  "  (2)  Ephesians 6:4-"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.  "  (3)  Proverbs 29:15- "The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.  "

Parents, never underestimate your power.  While your child is still a twig, bend her/him toward God!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ