“A straw will make an impression on the virgin snow, but after a time, a horse’s hoof cannot penetrate it; so it is with the youthful mind. A trifling word may make an impression, but after a few years, the most powerful appeals may cease to influence it. Think of this, ye who have the training of the infant mind, and leave such impressions thereon as will be safe to carry amid the follies and temptations of the world.”
I discovered this nugget of wisdom yesterday in L.G. Abell’s A Mother’s Book of Traditional Skills. There is nothing novel about it. The world knows this, hence the push for early childhood education.
“He alone who owns the youth, gains the world.”
“Give me a child for the first 5 years of his life and he will be mine forever.”
The impressionable mind of a child is something God has frequently alerted us to in His Word. (Prov. 22:6; Deut. 6: 5-9; Prov. 29:27; Psalm 78:2-4)
It is so precious and volatile, that He reserves the most damning punishments for those who seek to harm the minds of His little ones. (Matthew 18:6)
In the midst of changing diapers, tying shoelaces, clipping little finger nails, braiding hair, and wilted dandelion bouquets, it’s easy to forget that we work for the years we do not see.
The world wishes we’d view raising children as a thankless, pointless waste of our time and intelligence – a duty better left to someone else, but consider the source: our commission is not from the devil, nor is our responsibility to raise our children to those who hate the Lord and His service.
This most holy work – talking and teaching our children as we sit in our house, go for walks, tuck them in bed, and greet them in the morning (Deut. 6:5) has been given to us by the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Our responsibility is to a covenant-keeping God who is pleased to use foolish and weak things (exhausted Moms) for His glory so that our boasting would not be in our own abilities, but in the Cross of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1: 27)
Why would we choose to be a slave to any other Master, but Him who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy; He, who gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in His bosom, gently leading those with young? (Psalm 103: 8; Isaiah 40:11)
“Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into its soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,–she would see that in all God’s world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her.” J.R. Miller, Home-making“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25: 40