Bible and cross

During the months of May and June we celebrate the invaluable and important role of parents. On the second Sunday in May, we honor mothers with Mother’s Day. After that we recognize fathers on the third Sunday in June. It truly is a celebration of parenting!

One of the more well-known Bible verses about parenting says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Speaking of training a child, the story is told of an eight-year-old boy who came home from school one day and repeated the same complaint he had virtually every school day, “Dad, the teacher is picking on me again.”

“Is that so?” said the boy’s dad angrily. “Enough is enough. That teacher has been picking on you all year. Now it’s going to stop. Tomorrow, I’ll go down to the school with you, and we’ll have it out with your teacher.”

The following morning that father arrived at the school with his eight-year-old son and demanded an explanation from the teacher.

“That’s ridiculous,” the teacher replied in answer to the father’s tirade. “Accusing me of picking on your child. I’ve never picked on any student. Besides,” the teacher added, “you might as well know the truth. Your son is not very bright, and when I use the word ‘bright,’ I am being excessively kind. Let me show you what I mean.”

“Danny,” called the teacher, “tell us how much is five plus five.”

“You see, Dad,” cried the eight-year-old, “my teacher is picking on me again.”

What would you say to that eight-year-old? The truth be told, parental training can take place anytime and anywhere, whether in formal settings or day-to-day living. Such training can also either building positive or negative traits in a child. It is for these reasons that the Apostle Paul says to parents in Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the disciple and instruction of the Lord.”

Have you leaned on the Lord lately for parenting help? Why not do so today? I guarantee you’ll be glad you did!

— The Rev. Bill Kerr is pastor at Litchfield United Methodist Church.