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May 12, 2002
I want to tell you a sad but true story that I may have shared before. It occurred about 25 years ago. My sister Susie was about to have back surgery. Susie had been divorced for a couple of years and my mom was at Susieís home, watching her two children. My dad was at the hospital with Susie, and as they were taking her to surgery, she wanted to tell my father one thing. So, she said, "Dad, I love you." He said, "Me too." So, Susie asked him to say the words, "I love you." He would not say them. Itís really a sad story.
Can you imagine a parent not able to respond to tell their child that they are loved? Thatís what happened to Susie. I have often thought about the possible outcomes in that situation, what if she had died during surgery, she would have died not knowing for certain if her father loved her. How might that have impacted my father?
Today is motherís day. It is a day when we celebrate motherhood and really it is a time to look at how we impact the children in our lives. Iíll be honest, I donít like to preach sermons specifically for motherís or fatherís. There are some of us who have not had the most wonderful, loving, compassionate and giving parents; and days like today bring up reminders of our pain. So, today and again on Fatherís day, I want to look at the impact we can make on the lives of the children. And when I say children, I am also referring to those who have children who are in their 20ís on up to their 50ís.
I like what Paul says in these two scriptures. "Parents, donít exasperate your children, instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."And in Colossians 3:21 Paul exhorts parents, "do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."
Those are profound words for us parents to listen to. The word exasperate comes from the root word in Greek which literally means Ďto make one hostile towards something.í I donít think that is the goal of good parenting.
How we treat our children, has a profound impact on them later in life. When your child makes a mistake how do you treat them? Is it a big inconvenience for you? Do you berate them to no end and talk about how bad they are in front of them? Or do you ask them to help you clean up a mess and you work alongside of them?
I found this story on the Internet ó
One Saturday morning, six year old Brandon decided to fix his parents pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened a cabinet and pulled out the flour, spilling it on the floor. He scooped some of the flour into a bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten.
Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very special for Mom and Dad, but it was going from bad to worse. He didnít know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove, (and he didnít know how the stove worked!).
Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky. Just then he saw Dad standing
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