There is a stage in a child's life at which it cannot separate the religious
from the merely festal character of Christmas or Easter. I have been told of a
very small and very devout boy who was heard murmuring to himself on Easter
morning a poem of his own composition which began 'Chocolate eggs and Jesus
risen.' This seems to me, for his age, both admirable poetry and admirable
piety. But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer
effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to
distinguish the spiritual from the ritual and festal aspect of Easter; chocolate
eggs will no longer seem sacramental. And once he has distinguished he must put
one or the other first. If he puts the spiritual first he can still taste
something of Easter in the chocolate eggs; if he puts the eggs first they will
soon be no more than any other sweetmeat. They will have taken on an
independent, and therefore a soon withering, life.
C. S. Lewis
Charles Francis Adams, 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One
day he entered: "Went fishing with my son today--a day wasted." His son, Brook
Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made
this entry: "Went fishing with my father--the most wonderful day of my life!"
The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it
as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and
investing is to know one's ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly.
Silas Shotwell, in Homemade, September 1987.
A group of expectant fathers were in a waiting room, while their wives were in the
process of delivering babies. A nurse came in and announced to one man that his wife had
just given birth to twins. "That's quite a coincidence" he responded, "I
play for the Minnesota Twins!" A few minutes later another nurse came in and
announced to another man that he was the father of triplets. "That's amazing,"
he exclaimed, "I work for the 3M company." At that point, a third man slipped
off his chair and laid down on the floor. Somebody asked him if he was feeling ill.
"No," he responded, "I happen to work for the 7-up company."
In her book, First Lady from Plains, Rosalynn Carter told of the "wonderfully
odd" things she learned about White House history while a resident there. It seems
that the children of President James A. Garfield rode large three-wheelers around as they
carried on pillow fights in the East Room. Teddy Roosevelt's five children slid down the
staircases on trays stolen from the pantry, walked the halls on stilts, and once took a
pony into a second-floor bedroom after riding up on the president's elevator!
Today in the Word, September 6, 1992.
A small child is someone who can wash his hands without getting the soap wet.
The trouble with children is that when they're not being a lump in your throat, they're
being a pain in your neck.
Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.
A child is a person who can't understand why someone would give away a perfectly good
You cannot teach a child to take care of himself unless you will let him take care of
himself. He will make mistakes, and out of these mistakes will come his wisdom.
Celeste Sibley, one-time columnist for the Atlanta (GA) Constitution, took her three
children to a diner for breakfast one morning. It was crowded and they had to take
separate seats at the counter. Eight-year-old Mary was seated at the far end of the
counter and when her food was served she called down to her mother in a loud voice,
"Mother, don't people say grace in this place?" A hush came over the entire
diner and before Mrs. Sibley could figure out what to say, the counterman said, "Yes,
we do, sister. You say it." All the people at the counter bowed their heads. Mary
bowed her head and in a clear voice said, "God is great, God is good, let us thank
Him for our food."
Bits & Pieces, May, 1990, p. 10.
Men are generally more careful of their horses and dogs than of their children.
Almost every child would learn to write sooner if allowed to do his homework on wet
Statistics and Stuff
Property Laws of a Toddler: Some might say that this is evidences of Original Sin
1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it's broken, it's yours.
Nineteenth century Scottish preacher Horatius Bonar asked 253 Christian friends at what
ages they were converted. Here's what he discovered:
Under 20 years of age - 138
Between 20 and 30 - 85
Between 30 and 40 - 22
Between 40 and 50 - 4
Between 50 and 60 - 3
Between 60 and 70 - 1
Over 70 - 0
In a Harvard study of several hundred preschoolers, researchers discovered an
interesting phenomenon. As they taped the children's playground conversation, they
realized that all the sounds coming from little girls' mouths were recognizable words.
However, only 60 percent of the sounds coming from little boys were recognizable. The
other 40 percent were yells and sound effects like "Vrrrooooom!"
"Aaaaagh!" "Toot toot!" This difference persists into adulthood.
Communication experts say that the average woman speaks over 25,000 words a day while the
average man speaks only a little over 10,000. What does this mean in marital terms? . . .
On average a wife will say she needs to spend 45 minutes to an hour each day in meaningful
conversation with her husband. What does her husband sitting next to her say is enough
time for meaningful conversation? Fifteen to twenty minutes--once or twice a week!
Smalley and John Trent, Husbands and Wives.
When the 10-year-olds in Mrs. Imogene Frost's class at the Brookside, N.J. Community
Sunday School expressed their views of "What's wrong with grownups?" they came
up with these complaints:
1. Grownups make promises, then they forget all about them, or else they say it wasn't
really a promise, just a maybe.
2. Grownups don't do the things they're always telling the children to do--like pick up
their things, or be neat, or always tell the truth.
3. Grownups never really listen to what children have to say. They always decide ahead of
time what they're going to answer.
4. Grownups make mistakes, but they won't admit them. They always pretend that they
weren't mistakes at all--or that somebody else made them.
5. Grownups interrupt children all the time and think nothing of it. If a child interrupts
a grownup, he gets a scolding or something worse.
6. Grownups never understand how much children want a certain thing--a certain color or
shape or size. If it's something they don't admire--even if the children have spent their
own money for it--they always say, "I can't imagine what you want with that old
7. Sometimes grownups punish children unfairly. It isn't right if you've done just some
little thing wrong and grownups take away something that means an awful lot to you. Other
times you can do something really bad and they say they're going to punish you, but they
don't. You never know, and you ought to know.
8. Grownups are always talking about what they did and what they knew when they were 10
years old--but they never try to think what it's like to be 10 years old right now.
J.A. Petersen, ed., For
Families Only, Tyndale, 1977, p. 253.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago, the greatest fears
of grade school children were: 1) Animals, 2) Being in a dark room, 3) High places, 4)
Strangers, 5) Loud noises. Today, kids are afraid of the following: 1) Divorce, 2) Nuclear
war, 3) Cancer, 4) Pollution, 5) Being mugged.
Back to the Bible Today, Summer, 1990, p. 5.
Father, hear us, we are praying.
Hear the words our hearts are saying.
We are praying for our children.
Keep them from the powers of evil,
From the secret, hidden peril.
Father, hear us for our children.
From the worldling's hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Father, Father, keep our children.
Through life's troubled waters steer them.
Through life's bitter battles cheer them.
Father, Father, be thou near them.
And wherever they may bide,
Lead them home at eventide.