To make this verse even more practical, let’s think of this “plan” in these terms: “A plan in the heart of a child is like deep water, but a parent of understanding draws it out.”. . .
Do you have a child who is mechanically inclined? He needs to know you notice. Make comments about it. Brag on his ability. Do you have a child who is athletic, well-coordinated? He needs to know you believe he is well-coordinated. You say, “That’s obvious.” But perhaps he hasn’t heard it directly from you. He wants to hear you say it. You have a child who is intellectually gifted? You sense that she would be good at research, probing deeply into various subjects? Tell her. Mention the future possibilities. Help her find the right university. Rather than hammering away on petty stuff that doesn’t matter, spend more time discovering how your children’s interests can be channeled. Building a strong self-esteem takes a commitment to discover.
How many people stop because so few say "Go!"?
In his fine little book Fully Human, Fully Alive, author John Powell relates an experience which happened to a friend while he was vacationing in the Bahamas. The friend was sightseeing when he noticed a crowd gathered toward the end of a pier. He walked down to investigate the commotion. Powell says:
A Gift Too Wonderful for Words Long ago in a quiet, crude place where animals sleep, Mary gave birth and felt the soft, human skin of her firstborn. The humanity of this scene appropriately pulls us in for a closer look. God Knows Your Ways
. . . he discovered that the object of all the attention was a young man making the last-minute preparations for a solo journey around the world in a homemade boat. Without exception everyone on the pier was pessimistic. All were actively volunteering to tell the ambitious sailor all the things that could possibly go wrong. "The sun will BROIL you!" "You won't have enough food." "That boat of yours won't withstand the waves in a storm." [And, of course, those familiar words] "You'll never make it."
When my friend heard all these discouraging warnings to the adventurous young man, he felt an irresistible desire to offer some optimism and encouragement. As the little craft began drifting away from the pier towards the horizon, my friend went to the end of the pier, waving both arms wildly like semaphores spelling confidence. He kept shouting: "BON VOYAGE! You're really something! We're with you. We're proud of you!"
“God has the whole world in His hands.” Remember the old gospel song? He’s got the wind, the rain, the tiny little baby, yes, even you and me in His hands. How easy it is to forget that! And it isn’t limited to our geography or our culture, you know. He’s got the Middle East in His hands (that’s a relief, isn’t it?), not to mention North Korea and Iran, Cuba and India, Indonesia and Russia—all right there in the palms of His sovereign hands. And while we’re at it, He’s got our future, our children, our circumstances, our friends, and our foes in His hands . . . within His grasp . . . under His control. Even when imaginary fears slip in like the morning frost to blight our faith. He’s there—in charge.
For many parents, memories of child-rearing carry a measure of guilt. There were times when we failed our kids. Perhaps it was an ugly encounter or missing too many concerts or soccer games. There’s no way to go back and relive our lives, so we need to know how to respond to these painful memories. Otherwise, we will live under clouds of blame and shame, paralyzed by guilt.All Sermons by Chuck Swindoll