My extended family had a party for all the summer birthdays. We all, well all who like it, had lobster. I decided to take the time to clean out all the meat I possibly could from mine and my husbands. I sat for quite some time on the day of the party getting through those 2 and when I was done, it didn't seem like much. I took one whole leftover lobster home to take care of the next day.
Now, if you have never done this or if you watch someone, it really does seem like a tedious and useless waste of time. I watched my grandmother and others do it over the years as I grew up, but never tried it myself until a couple of years ago. As I stood in my kitchen taking apart the whole lobster, I thought of how much patience it took to complete the process. You have to carefully move little bones and pick to get at the meat you want. That patience, that persistence, yielded me about 1 cup of lobster meat from the bodies and legs of 3 lobsters. Now that is definitely enough to make a yummy lobster salad lunch for hubby and myself! Definitely worth it!
And so it is with training our children. We all know it takes patience, and some days it can feel so useless. I know I have felt like a broken record on many an occasion! But, every word, every moment we pour into the vessels of our children, add up over time. Each lonely, tiny piece of lobster meat doesn't look like much, but they added up to an entire meal when I was done. With lobster, if you are not careful, you can easily add pieces that are not edible. But even that wrong, that negative, adds up with the good. Our negative words and actions with our children add up just as our positive ones do. Sure a few bad pieces mistakenly added here and there won't amount to much, but if too many are added they will ruin the dish.
I challenge all of us to ask ourselves- is there some negative I am pouring into my children on some level, even without realizing it? Is that the harvest I want to see come to fruition in my children? What steps can I take today to turn that around? If I don't know what to do- who can help me (husband, trusted friend, pastor)?
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6