My two grandsons, both around a year and half old, are in the developmental stage where they are astutely watching everything around them. They seem especially interested in observing people.
And they are quick to mimic and imitate most any action or behaviour that they have just witnessed.
Of course, it can be rather unnerving to hear or observe them repeating a word or behaviour they have just seen.
This tendency has become particularly evident at mealtimes. For when we gather for meals, and bow our heads for grace, we have noticed our two little fellows intently watching us. And as they sit in their high chairs, they stop whatever it is that they are doing. And they observe us. Listen to us. Carefully. Attentively.
As soon as one of the grandsons observes the family gather around the table to eat, he quickly clasps his hands in preparation for prayer, And even as he is playing, exploring life, he will now often stop, clasp his hands, looking towards one of us, indicating his desire to pray.
And the other grandson joyously and spontaneously raises his hands high in the air whenever he hears us say amen or hallelujah.
Both grandsons have reminded me of how we teach our children, not just through what we verbalize, but also through our actions and behaviour.
So we are all trying to be very intentional with both our words and actions whenever we are around our grandsons. Ensuring that whatever the two boys observe, how they see us behaving and speaking, reflects and matches all that we desire them to learn and emulate.
Our children want their boys to know the value that we as a family place on prayer. Not just by talking about the importance of prayer. But also through showing them how to pray and worship. Creating a sense of the profound power and joy of prayer. And how to “pray without ceasing….”(1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Praying was also important to my father. For when I was a little girl, and my father would come to tuck me into bed at night, he and I would recite the Lord’s Prayer together. And then as a grandfather, he undertook to teach, and recite, the Lord’s Prayer with each of our three sons at their bedtime.
I love the intentionality of what my father and we and our children have done around teaching the future generations about prayer and praying. It is a sacred thread extending through the family. A profound teaching and legacy.
Because the odds are, when we, “Start children off on they way they should go, then even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
And thus, we give them a grand inheritance. An eternal gift. A legacy more precious than rubies or gold.
Photo Credits: Annie Spratt and Annie Theby, from Unsplash
Five Minute Friday’s Prompt: Intentional