What would a children’s play room be without building blocks? Kids are drawn to those simple cubes of possibility. They love to stack them, line them up, make a “fence” around something, or create some other “construction project” that is first seen in the mind of the child and then constructed with the blocks on the table.
That is true of parenting. Parents are given children for the purpose of building in them the things that they will need to be strong, contributing, and effective adults. Each child has unique “blocks” within their mind and heart. A parent has to discern how a child responds to the various strategies of shaping that a mom and dad must do. And, as every parent knows, there are those rudimentary things that are absolutes in every child’s life…..Godliness, faith, and love for others. Along with that love, a parent must also teach respect for God, parents, siblings as well as personal belongings, possessions, and other things. There is a balance struck between rules and relationships that “train a child up in the way he should go.”
David Kraft was a big, strong man — all muscle. At the age of 32, he was six feet, two inches tall and weighed 200 pounds. He had been to seminary and ended up working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, because of his athletic background.
Then he was diagnosed with cancer. It wracked his body, and over a period of time, he dropped from 200 pounds to 80 pounds.
When he was about ready to pass from this life into eternity, he asked his father to come into his hospital room. Lying there in bed, he looked up and said, “Dad, do you remember when I was a little boy, how you used to hold me in your arm close to your chest?”
David’s father nodded. Then David said, “Do you think, Dad, you could do that one more time? One last time?”
Again his father nodded. He bent down to pick up his 32-year-old, six-foot, two-inch, 80 pound son, and held him close to his chest, so that the son’s face was right next to the father’s face. They were eyeball to eyeball. Tears were streaming down both faces, and the son said to his father, “Thank you for building the kind of character into my life that can enable me to face even a moment like this.” (Ron Lee Davis, “Introducing Christ to Your Child,” Preaching Today, Tape No.92)
Men, I dare you to be that kind of father (or grandfather) to your children. Dare to build into them the kind of character that will enable them to face anything in life. Then you will be a real leader, not only in your home, but among your peers, as well. (From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Loving Leadership, 6/17/2010)