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This is a glorious time of the year with nature blossoming its new life around the time of resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ever since I was a child this season has always been my favorite. I loved planting flowers, trees and bushes, then patiently waited for their beauty to emerge. The events of spring would always be exciting. Following Easter Sunday, we really looked forward to Mother’s Day when mom got a day off from cooking. It was just about the only time during the year that our family went out to eat, because feeding nine people at a restaurant was expensive.

June also held many memories. Father’s Day was always fun, giving Dad those “hand made” gifts. What he did with those clay projects I couldn’t tell you; seems I never saw them again after that day. When we were young, my parents would plan something fun for Children’s Day. It didn’t really matter what we did, but that we did it as a family. It’s sad, but people don’t celebrate this holiday in June any more.

Graduations meant going out to dinner with the family in celebration of the special event. Over the next few days, there would be a big party with friends that brought gifts. To an 8th or 12th grader, money gifts were the most appreciated, no matter what the amount. I don’t think that part changed, and by college graduation, it is prayed for!

All of these were special days, but Memorial Day meant the most to me. The fact that I never went to school on my birthday, which was the traditional Memorial Day, could be a major reason to love this holiday, but it isn’t. It is also true that my father’s birthday is the day before mine and that could be another reason this day was so special. We would have a family barbecue party. Loads of family, friends, games and laughter made the day wonderful.

However, not even this was the favorite part of the holiday. Frankly, Memorial Day is special to me because of memories. To memorialize something is to remember it as being valuable and worth honoring (like our soldiers who fought for our freedom.) The true meaning of Memorial Day and remembering our soldiers never left my mind, but the memories of my birthdays with my Dad and what we shared meant the most. My mother made sure the day was always special.

Building A Family ...
As I think about these special times, my heart goes out to the families that have lost their loved ones. Relationships between a child and a parent are to be treasured. Our children are only with us for a short time. They are “on loan” to us as Psalm 127:3 reminds us that they are the Lord’s heritage (not ours). “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.”

The Hebrew definition of heritage refers to a possession granted by Jehovah, as a gift from Him. It is a term that traditionally is used to show legal claim to property. Children, no matter what age, are the property of the Lord, given to man. God is reclaiming His children, and the Bible is states that in the last days, the children of God will turn back to their spiritual Father. It’s time for a gathering of the kids!
“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
(Mal. 4:6)
There isn’t anything or anyone that can measure the amount of time we have with one another. That is why time is so valuable. Each moment with a child and those we love is special. Our children need to know we love them. We need to be loved by our children. Families need to learn to love each member in their family. God has placed each spirit into the place (family) He wanted; there were no mistakes!

You are in the family God wanted you to be in, no matter what you may think. Wanting to be someone else, or in another family isn’t what God had intended for you. He put you where you are, because it is what was best for you and His overall plan for the Kingdom. Each family member is vital to God.

I can’t imagine any family member of mine not in our family. They are all precious to me. Make it a point to honor your parents and your children, no matter what your age. Tell them how glad you are that God gave them to you and no one else!
Teach your children to obey God and authority. In Deuteronomy 30:2, God tells us that both parent and child are to obey His voice. “And shall return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I commanded thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.” God commands us to: obey and listen to His voice with our heart (spirit) and soul (emotions and feelings). When we practice these feelings, they will emerge on the outward part. Our feelings and emotions of love will abound in and out toward the Father and one another.

Obedience Brings Life …
Ephesians 6:1-3 are verses we some use to scare our children into correct behavior. We tell them that if they don’t behave they will die because God will strike them dead. When, in fact, we forget this scripture is referring to all of God’s children and the decisions we make in life that lead to death. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Causing our children to fear God through our threatening method of discipline and misinterpretation of the Word is wrong.
Children, obey your parents in the LORD: for this is right. Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with you, and you may live long upon the earth.
We need to incorporate Ephesians 6:4 in our thinking, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

We are to train them or put their minds in the act of knowing God’s ways. We cannot do that if we are causing our children wrath by the methods of discipline we use to correct behavior. If we want our children to understand what obedience to God means, we have to show and live it diligently. The best way to show your child how much you love them is to show God how much you love Him, by keeping His laws and commandments.

Encouraging the Spirit…
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be thankful. Children obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. 
(Col. 3:15,20 - 21)
Learn to encourage the spirit of others with loving words. Uplift your family and children so that they do not become discouraged and lose faith in God or you. Teach them to love the Lord with all their heart and might. In doing so, you will make every moment a lasting memory for here and eternity. People are like wet cement; what falls on them leaves an impression.

What impression are you leaving?

Copyright © Shield of Faith Family & Youth Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Cher Wandell
Web site: Shield of Faith Family & Youth Ministries
Cher is a teacher, evangelist and author dedicated to the rebuilding of the family. Her innovative work with families and thousands of children has spanned across two decades.

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