9 “Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren.” ~ Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV
By Bro. John L. Cash
When I was 3 years old (growing up in Stuttgart, Arkansas) our preacher’s wife was my babysitter. I can remember staying there with the preacher, and his wife, and his children (who were nearly grown.) I liked being there very much, in that spacious old house in a neighborhood that was full of oak trees and falling autumn leaves.
Once, at the end of the day, the preacher’s wife called my mother into the dining room to talk privately. She said, “Elizabeth, I need to tell you something. Today when John was playing, his building-blocks fell over. And then he said a cuss word. And I feel so bad. I’m afraid that he picked the word up from me. I said the same thing the other day in the kitchen when I broke a plate. Elizabeth, I’m so sorry.”
My mother, ever the plain-spoken, straight shooter, looked her friend in the eye and said, “You can stop worrying right now. You are not the one John heard that bad word from. I can tell you for certain, he learned it at home.”
That’s a story that my mom like to tell when our family gets together. It always makes us laugh. But there’s an important lesson there, too. It’s a lesson that people need to take note of.
Bad behavior seems to be the fashion of the day. Crude language, rude manners, and general coarseness are the daily habit of so many people in our world. It’s probably safe to say, “They learned it at home.” Or, at very least, they didn’t pick up on (or retain) the positive lessons that the people who loved them tried to teach them. Things need to change!
A nation will never be better than its people. And good people come from the nurture of Christian parents. Take time to give your children some “home training” this week. In the course of childhood, they may pick up a word or two that they shouldn’t. But they can learn righteousness and goodness at home, too.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the carpenter finished remodeling Miss Susan’s bathroom this week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.