It has been said that many of our children are suffering this summer because they are not active or engaged in any productive activities. One of the reasons quoted is because areas lack the funding to provide enrichment activities for our children.
Recently, two young ladies who were raised by a single-family mom expressed appreciation to their mother for the ways in which she sacrificed for them over the years. At a young age, this mother had exposed them to the simple means of life. In some cases, not because she wanted to, but because she had no other choice. There were times when things were tight financially and the family did their shopping at thrift stores. There were some lean years, but this mother believed in taking advantage of exposing her daughters to community experiences like concerts, museums, lectures, parks, the arts, zoos, community centers, church, etc. She knew that exposing her daughters and letting them see things they were not familiar with was important to their educational growth. There were some educational and cultural places they could visit that did not break the bank. This mother did not make excuses for what was not available, rather took advantage of what provided opportunities for her daughters.
Because of the two daughter’s exposure to all types of music, today they enjoy blues, country, spirituals, hip-hop, jazz, gospel, etc. Some of the same experiences they were exposed to are now being shared and practiced with their own children.
The mother also involved her daughters in culturally diverse activities which provided them a level of comfort with different races, religions, languages, and lifestyles.
It was impressive listening to these two daughters shower their mom at her 75th birthday party with such heartfelt accolades. This dynamic mother had control of the purse strings and did an awesome job in raising her daughters with limited resources. The daughters went on to do great things that have made the mother and family very proud.
The point in this message is that we do not have to have the best of things in life to be successful. This mother believed that exposing her children to as many positive things and places in life would be an asset to them, even though life for this single mom and two daughters was tough. The finer things in life are nice, but this story is an example of how we can use our time and energy to expose our children to areas of human development: cultural, spiritual, social, educational, and emotional. With God’s help, we can overcome the obstacles. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
It is sad to say, but do you know that there are children in Maryland who have never visited the nation’s capital? There are so many interesting and educational opportunities right before us. Let’s take advantage of those places and events this summer. The DMV is an awesome place to live, but also an expensive place to reside. Just like the mother in this story, we may have to manage our budgets a little better.
This mother also believed that exposing her children to the arts, museums, concerts, etc. would assist them in performing better in school.
In the Bible, parents exposed their children to one of the greatest and most powerful influences in their time. Mark 10: 13-16 says, People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
One of the saddest commentaries of today is that many of our children are not exposed to the Word of God! There was a time that going to church and learning and living the good book was a priority with families. Just maybe so much hatred is being witnessed is because our young people have not been exposed to the wonders of God’s love.
Just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor