“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
I had an all too rare opportunity to spend some time alone with my daughter and granddaughter recently. With all my children grown, I generally see them in group settings, so this was special though all too brief. In an effort to help my granddaughter live her increasingly complex 7 year old existence according to biblical principles, the two of them have devised a set of remembrances. Gabby shared them with me, with a bit of prompting from Mom. What they had designed was a means to help her navigate the uncertainties of the world of school and daycare with the many varied and often confusing expectations.
My daughter’s hope was to impart to Gabby an understanding of the tools always at her disposal for navigating the rocks and shoals of being 7. From that need grew the following list which they call 5 Rules and Counting. I think of it not so much as rules, but remembrances that can create valuable aha moments throughout the day. (Note: I have taken the liberty of breaking up number 5 to create a number 6.)
Since I am always on the lookout for practical applications of biblical principles, I was very taken by her presentation of these and I knew at once I could apply them to my own adult daily uncertainties. The principles are timeless, nothing new here, but simply and concisely stated, they are easy enough for a 7 year old (and her 60 plus Nana) to understand, remember, and rely upon.
1. Listen to the adult in charge. How often do we forget that authority is a biblical principle, one Jesus understood and under which He operated. We don’t ever outgrow the need to listen to the adult in charge. We would save ourselves a great deal of heartache if we would first align ourselves with godly authority figures and then listen and submit. (Romans 13:1)
2. Listen to the Holy Spirit. How often do we remember that the Holy Spirit is speaking to us throughout the day, old and young alike? Do we think to stop and ask for guidance often enough throughout the day? We know that is a key role of the Holy Spirit, but so often we seem bent on muddling through on our own. (John 16:13-15)
3. You will not always get your way. Our own way is generally going to be self-centered. We teach our children this rule and then we turn around and demand it ourselves. God’s way is perfect and will accomplish His will eternally, perfectly, for all involved. (Psalm 143:10; Romans 12:2; Psalm 40:8)
4. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Easy to say, any child can repeat the “Golden Rule” but obviously not so easy to do or the world would be in far better shape than it is. (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31) 5. Remember who you are. This can be most simply accomplished by remembering Whose you are. Here’s what my granddaughter says on the subject. I am the apple of God’s eye. (Psalm 17:8; Zechariah 2:8)
I am a princess, daughter of the King. (My granddaughter is learning the truth that this makes her a real princess, not just pretend.) (Romans 8:14)
I am the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. (Deuteronomy 28:13)
I am the Righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
(These are Gabby’s and now I have adopted them as well. For a more comprehensive look at who you are, try searching the New Testament letters for instances of in Him, in Whom and in Christ.)
6. Remember who you are not: (Genesis 3:15)
I am not the devil’s pawn, or as my little one says, “I am not the devil’s queen!”
There’s no denying it’s a really tough world out there, whether you are 7, 17 or 70. In whatever form you choose to employ the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in plotting your course, the important thing is that you do it, and do it in His strength and wisdom, not your own.
Thank you Gabby (and Mom) for the attitude adjustment!
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18 _________________________________