Molding

Diane Bloem

READ : Proverbs 22:6

My teacher, Dena Korfker, taught us the proper way to carry our small kindergarten chairs as we marched to the front of the assembly room. I still carry chairs that way. I also can recite Bible verses I learned in that kindergarten class. At age seven I learned the hymn “Trust and Obey.” In church I memorized psalms set to music. These comfort me and encourage me in sleepless nights or troubled days even now.

My father taught me to have fun and to help others. My mother sent me to shut-ins with cookies or pies. I mailed the many notes of encouragement she wrote to people. These examples were my instruction. Even if I wanted to, I could not rid myself of these positive influences. Unkindness and neglect also shape young lives. Parents or teachers who are unloving leave indelible marks on children. It takes much work, many prayers, and great love to overcome negative childhood experiences.

This Bible verse is a caution and a comfort. Everyone has a responsibility to influence children positively and not harm them. Jesus warned of severe punishment for those who cause children to sin (Luke 17:2). Faithful parents and teachers find comfort in this verse when they see young people make bad choices in their “war for independence.” We trust God to bring them back to the way they should go.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, forgive our failings and help us to be faithful as we lead young lives into Your way. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.