Monday, April 25, 2016

Nurturing and Admonishing

I am guessing I have reached the age where I can reminisce about the good old days. Unlike my parents who could remember electric service spreading from the cities to country homes, and the advent of telephones to rural areas, I have been accustomed to them all of my life.  I do, however, remember the advance of television and the "glorious" days when black and white TV's became antiquated because of the switch to color TV. Try going into your local Wal-Mart or Best Buy store this week and ask a sales clerk to show you a selection black and white TV's.  

Most kids  growing up in the pre-WWII years knew how to use a hoe to chop weeds from a field of cotton or corn. They also knew how to pick cotton or "shuck" corn during harvest.  I cannot remember questioning mom during my younger years about how she knew how to process garden vegetables or make pickles or pear preserves.  Children of that era also knew how to milk a cow, gather eggs, load and unload hay, drive a tractor, feed pigs, and on rare occasions, shear sheep. 

Contrast that with the kids of today who spend a majority of their time on a computer, an iPad, an iPod, an iPhone and a flat-panel giant color TV screen, all at the same time.  I should add I am not being critical of today's kids, just making an illustrative comparison.  In fact, I am happy with the age of greater technology so I can enjoy the benefits of computing and even watching a TV that produces such a life-like picture.  Without the advance of technology in the past 50 years, I wouldn't be able to send a daily blog around the world. Today we can reach more people, in more locations, delivering more information, than ever before. The new advances in electronics alone give us greater opportunities to spread the good news of the gospel to just about everyone on the planet.

The contrast continues when we consider the parents of the children we have compared above.  Not many moms today are teaching their daughters things like sewing or baking or canning vegetables.  Not many fathers are teaching their sons about mending a fence or changing a tire.  In many families, the child's learning experiences come only from the electronic devices that were made to "enhance" lives. 

In Ephesians 6:4, fathers are encouraged to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." To nurture something is to promote its life of growth and maturity. So we can conclude from this verse of the Bible to nurture our children is to provide and supply them with every spiritual, emotional and physical need. Those are not my suggestions, they are God's expectations.

While I will admit there seemed to be more nurturing going on in the days of old, even today in the busy schedules of parents and kids, it can be done.  It must be done if we are going to have a part in preserving the quality, the morals, spirituality of future generations. 

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