When our children are old enough to really understand the concept of sin and the impact of sin in their lives, we call that the age of accountability. Scriptures teach us when each of us reaches that age, we have a decision to make. We must decide if we will obey God and be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, or walk away and live our lives in pursuit of our own desires.
Probably the happiest day for a parent (after the birth of their child), is the day their child is baptized. In many homes, Bibles are searched and studied as the child prepares to make the most important decision of his life. Then the day arrives when your child walks into the baptistry and is immersed for the reemission of her sins. Many parents breathe a sigh of relief. If the child is close to adulthood, the sigh may be huge!
The holidays bring about the best of times and the worst of times (sorry Mr. Dickens). Often the joy of vacations is undone with the hassles of piling everyone and everything into a car or airplane and traveling hundreds of miles to visit family.
Between choruses of “I’m hungry”, “She’s touching me” and “Are we there yet”, it’s easy to forget about God. The idea of using the time to teach your children about godly principles seems insane. Yet, God told the Israelites to teach their children about God as they walked along the road. (Can you imagine that whining?!)
Most Christians are pretty diligent about teaching their children to thank God for His blessings. We train them from a very young age to pray and thank God for food, family, clothing and shelter. Have we trained them though to see God’s spectacular, overflowing blessings? I think many of us are missing a prime opportunity to teach our children the amazing ways God works.
You are probably thinking “She’s crazy. Of course, we teach our children about the amazing ways God works in our lives!” Bear with me, as I share a recent story from our life and the responses we hear from even extremely faithful Christians when we share it.
Trips to bookstores are one of my favorite ways to relax and even splurge occasionally. I enjoy lingering through many sections just to see what interesting books are being published. I have even been known to purchase a children’s book so I could read it for myself.
There is one section though that disturbs me. The next time you walk into a place selling books, amble over to the teen section. Most likely, you will find it overflowing with very dark books. Yes, the covers are almost all dark now, but what lies inside the covers is often worse. Stories are crammed with demons, wizards and dark magic. Not to mention the ones encouraging ugly behavior or making girls think they are somehow defective if they aren’t experimenting with alcohol, sex and/or drugs.
It’s hard to tell in this picture, but these lemons are huge. Not just a “that lemon is nice” large, but anywhere from the size of a large orange to the size of a grapefruit. It is not genetically engineered fruit, but fruit that was grown in the richest soil on earth. Volcanic soil, in this case that of Mt. Vesuvius.
If I lived in a slightly warmer climate, I could have a lemon tree in my yard. I could read up on how to care for a lemon tree. I could water the tree, fertilize it and talk to it. No matter how well I tended it, my tree would never produce lemons the size of the ones in Pompeii. Why? Because the soil in my yard is red clay, possibly some of the worst soil for growing wonderful lemons.