“Some things God gives often: some He gives only once. The seasons return again and again, and the flowers change with the months, but youth comes twice to none.” Childhood comes but once with its opportunities. Whatever is done to stamp it with beauty must be done quickly. ~Rev. J.R. Miller, D.D., in Home-Making (from Dr. Geikie in his book Life)
I’ve been struck lately with how quickly the days are passing. As gracious and loving and merciful and kind as our God is, He only gives us one chance at parenting the precious children He’s gifted to us. Whatever we are pouring into their lives today is forming their character, guiding their thinking, and touching their heart.
How can we stamp these lives with beauty? Here are a few ideas I hope to use in our home.
1. Surround them with positive, quality influences. Fill our homes with inspiring books, encouraging music, and attractive art work.
2. Give of yourself. There’s a remarkable beauty in a person who puts others before themselves.
3. Live graciously. Speak softly and kindly. Train our children in mannerly behavior and then expect it from them.
4. Teach them to see the beauty in the lives of others. Christ loves and died for every person. We can help our children see people as His beloved creation.
5. Value simplicity. While there’s a place for the elaborate and extravagant, embrace the simplicity of everyday routines. A trip to the amusement park is fun and exciting – but so is a tea party in the middle of the afternoon or jumping in a pile of raked leaves or snuggling with a cup of hot chocolate on a cold night.
How else can we bring beauty to childhood?