“As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.” is a proverbial statement from centuries ago.
Ephesians 6:4 (The Amplified Bible)
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
When a twig is green it is supple. Though it might be straight as a rail it can be twisted and shaped into a curve, a horseshoe, or even a wreath.
The opposite is true, too. If a young, green twig is crooked or bent it can be soaked in water, then tied and pressed between two straight branches, dried and straightened.
I believe this principle is particularly true of children.
And parents, we are the primary people to shape those little green twigs into the people God wants them to be. We have the power to reshape their minds and hearts so they lean toward God or away from Him.
Mainly through your personal relationship to each child. It’s true that education, popular culture and religion are influential on our children. But YOU are the primary influence.
The way you treat them is the most powerful molder.
How you speak to them
—or AT them.
How you listen to them
How you touch them.
Are your touches gentle but firm? Or are they rough? Do you jerk your children around when they misbehave? Or do you find yourself avoiding touching them at all? Do you touch them only when they act badly? Or are you generous with appropriate hugs. As they grow older do you continue to give them loving touches like, you know, messing their hair, punching their shoulder, tickling, high-fiving? Fist-bumping?
How you prioritize them.
Is spending time and communicating with your kids the most important part of your day? Or do you pay more attention to your cellphone than to them? Does your job always come ahead of your children? Your community responsibilities? Your ministry to others?
Is our comfort and convenience more important to us than they are?
God gives us our children. They are tender plants around our table of life. How straight and tall they grow spiritually and emotionally is in our hands.
NOTHING should take priority over them.
God’s Word Says